DRAMA AS SENATE SCREENS AKPABIO
… I’m an uncommon performer – Akpabio boasts
… Senate President disapproves Senator Albert’s Point of Order
Akwa Ibom’s only nominee in President Buhari’s 43 man ministerial list, Sen Godswill Akpabio was in his usual comic element when he arrived the Senate Chambers in Abuja for onward screening.
The erstwhile Senate Minority Leader who was led into the chambers by former Presidential Aide Mr. Solomon Ita Enang received cheers from senators, exchanging handshakes with friends and even opposition senators like Sen. Dino Maleye.
After Akpabio performed the ritual of bowing several times to the senators, the Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan asked Akpabio to elaborate on his Curriculum Vitae if he so wishes, and the nominee went ahead to speak on his achievements in political leadership during his tenure as Governor of Akwa Ibom state and one term Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.
After pleasantries and observing protocol, Akpabio ‘broke the ice’ by saying “few months ago in our valedictory session in this chamber, my colleague in the 8th Senate said that we shall meet on the streets of Abuja, but I assured him (Dino Maleye)that we will surely meet again in the Senate. So today I am happy that we have met in the Senate”.
He continued his speech by saying “…It is a privilege for me to be nominated to serve my country. My track record are contained in my CV and I took time to list my constituency projects also. That was to showcase what I accomplished as a senator and to encourage us to serve with love because if you don’t love your people you will not give them quality services.
“… In my state Akwa Ibom all the roads we built 11years ago during my tenure as a Governor, none has even a single pothole. And as a senator I did a lot of constituency projects. I am known as Uncommon performer any where I go so I am coming with that same spirit to serve Nigerians.
“This is Godswill Akpabio – Uncommon Governor, Uncommon senator, Uncommon performer now Uncommon Minister”. He conceded and laughed.
Asked by the Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan to comment on the nomination of Senator Akpabio, the Senate Minority leader, Sen. Aberibe said “I had spoken with Akwa Ibom caucus in the Senate as the minority leader, and they told me that they are in full support of the nomination of Godswill Akpabio by President Buhari”.
Meanwhile a mild drama took place as Sen. Bassey Albert of Akwa Ibom South West Senatorial District raised a point of order, and requested to be given opportunity to speak on Akpabio’s nomination.
Bassey Albert cited order 43 of the Nigeria Senate which according to him mandates the Senate President to permit senators from each nominee’s state of origin to speak before such nominee is approved.
Despite the fact that his observation received support of a few lawmakers, it was however disapproved by Senate President who said “Senator Albert you can see that the mood in the Senate today does not permit what you want to do. I had asked the Minority leader to speak on behalf of the Senate and we all heard what he said”.
After Ahmed Lawan’s comment, Akpabio who had switched mood and tighten his face when Bassey Albert spoke, had a seeming sigh of relief as he smiled, took a bow and was escorted out by his kinsman, Ita Enang.