10th Senate Presidency: Group Vows To Resist Blackmail, Witch-hunt Against Sen Akpabio

….urges APC leadership to reject injustice

By Ebriku John Friday

A group called South-South Solidarity Group, SSSG, weekend, warned and vowed to vehemently resist any blackmail and witch-hunt against Senator Godswill Akpabio, to truncate his emergence as President of the 10th Senate.

Sen Godswill Akpabio

This was contained in a statement signed by the Convener, SSSG, Peter Ikpen Ilefa, where the group queried the ongoing investigation of Senator Akpabio, and accused the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan of allegedly playing the role of witch-hunt in the name of investigating Senator Akpabio when he served as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

According to the group, Senator Akpabio “gave his right eye to see that things worked again” at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, hence a forensic audit of the board, which he (Akpabio) deserves commendation to expose corruption and not a witch-hunt to scuttle his senate presidency ambition, which clearly shows he will achieve.

The statement reads in part, “As the battle for the Leadership of the 10th senate thickens, the choice of Mr. President and the All Progressives Congress to settle for South-South and Senator Godswill Akpabio as the next Senate President of Nigeria, has been adjudged as one of the most strategic move of a purposeful government, this is because, for a region that has lost touch of the office of the Senate President since after the second republic, zoning the office of Senate President to the region meant total adherence to the spirit of cohesion and national solidarity.

“And yet, a few Nigerian Leaders led by Senate President Ahmed Lawan have no agenda for Nigerians and no real solutions to the problems that we face on a daily basis, other than playing the role of witch-hunt in the name of investigating Senator Akpabio while serving this Nation as Minister Niger Delta Ministry. Instead, what is Senate President Ahmed Lawan focused on? He is scrambling to change the headlines, praying that the nation will focus on his partisan witch-hunt instead of putting efforts to see that the 9th Assembly described under his watch as a weak Assembly corrects such impression by finishing strong.

“South-South Solidarity Group has no problem with Leaders coming clean in their areas of service, but frowns at political ploy to scuttle the chances of her leaders in serving this nation.

“As Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, and supervising the board of the NDDC, Sen Godswill Akpabio gave his right eye to see that things worked again, a forensic audit of the board bears testimony to this fact. What senator Akpabio deserves at this moment is commendation and not witch-hunt.

“It is no news that, immediately the choice of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress was made known, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan became unsettled and has since, advanced moves to see that Sen. Akpabio is denied the office of Senate President. Hence using a committee setup by Dr. Ahmed Lawan to investigate Sen. Akpabio already tells where the committee report is going.

“Let it be known on clear terms that South-South Solidarity Group would reject any negative report emanating from the Committee set up by Senate President Ahmed Lawan to investigate Sen. Akpabio, and for the peace of Nigeria, the South-South region should not be taken for granted.

“The Senate ad hoc committee set up recently by the Senate President to investigate the 2021, 2022 and 2023 budgets of the NDDC budgets that were implemented without the approval of the National Assembly was only a vendetta against the aspiration of the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta and Senator-Elect Godswill Akpabio.

“It is on record that the Senator-elect is aspiring to become the next Senate President of Nigeria which will oversee the Legislative functions of the 10th Senate. His ambition which does not seat well with the present Senate President and other adventurous few aspiring for same position, is been spiked with false allegations to thwart his efforts and spoil the minds of the many who has taking a liking for his personality and leadership style.

“Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio who is a man of impeccable character, with his track records of holding up to responsibilities; with a clean slate in governance and administration surfaced at the National Assembly to acknowledge the summons/invitation given him by the committee to be questioned and investigated.

“However, even the Chairman of the ad hoc committee Senator Yusuf Yusuf, who is to investigate the budgets of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was not on seat at the exact time given. Other members of the committee which were of cause absent said when reached on phone, they weren’t aware of the invitation as investigative activities have long been concluded.

“This pitiful and cheap propaganda against the person of Sen. Godswill Akpabio is a swipe against proper and effective Democratic processes. The absence of the ad hoc committee chairman and it’s members is a clear display of a magnified set up and character assassination on the person of Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

“It was indeed a hoax and the entire ad hoc committee and the Senate President who set it up should be questioned and brought to book.

“It is on record that Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio and others who accompanied him were kept waiting for over three hours, only to be informed later by members of the adhoc committee that they have since concluded with their investigation.”

Meanwhile, the group urged the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to reject any form of injustice and witch-hunt against Senator Akpabio.

“Therefore, we call on the Leadership of the party, stakeholders and good Nigerian people to stand against any form of injustice, ridicule, cheap propaganda and malicious intent against Senator-elect Godswill Akpabio, all because he is expressing his rights within the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to serve the country as President of the 10th Senate.

“We also state unequivocally and in clear terms that we as the voice of the conscience of the good people of the South South Region would not hesitate to reject in it’s entirety any stage managed and premeditated report that would indict Senator-elect Godswill Akpabio.

“South-South Solidarity Group berates those responsible in such acts and advises them to desist from it and allow for the smooth and effective transition of power with utmost and total support to the leadership of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”, it added.

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