The Stability Group in the 10th Senate rooting for Senators Godswill Akpabio and Jibrin Barau leadership of the Senate from June 13th on Thursday, hosted over 70 Senators-elect to a dinner at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja.
Information pieced together at the venue of the well attended dinner revealed that it was organized to enable the Senators-elect the opportunity to rub minds and compare notes on the progress so far recorded since it started consultations with relevant party structures, stakeholders, leaders of thought and Senators-elect on the aspirations of Senators Akpabio and Barau for the leadership of the 10th Senate.
It was also learnt that attendance at the Dinner cut across party lines, a confimation that members of the Group were more than committed to handling issues brought before it in a bipartisan manner for national development and unity.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the session, the preferred choice of the party, Senator Godswill Akpabio said the dinner was organized by the leadership of the group for members to further deliberate on how to collaborate with the president Tinubu-led administration for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.
According to him, “today’s meeting is a continuation of the one earlier held at the Frazer Suites. We believe that it is important we continue to bond together because God has put us together for the next four years to work for the benefit of Nigerians in the 10th Senate”.
Speaking further, the former Senate Minority Leader said, ” we believe that every Senator irrespective of his or her political party is first and foremost a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
On the allegation that the Senate under his leadership would be a rubber stamped one, Akpabio said, ” the answer is very simple. In America, the Vice president is the Presiding Officer of the Senate and does that make them a rubber stamped? We would look at issues thoroughly and even the Executive would be happy. We will hold robust discussions and public sittings before we come up with any bill for presidential assent towards improving the living standards of Nigerians. ”
He stated further that, ” the 10th Senate is made up not only men and women of high integrity but people of diverse experience and they are bringing all these to bear for the benefit of the incumbent administration of President Tinubu. We will not be a rubber stamped Senate, rather we will rubber stamp whatever is good for Nigerians and what Nigerians want. Things would change in Nigeria for good under this administration and that is our promise to Nigerians. Be rest assured that we shall succeed by the special grace of God.”
On allegation of corruption against him, the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, stated that as a politically exposed individual, he was expectant of all those innuendo saying,” the allegation against me is that when I was governor, I showed love to all and sundry, that I declared free and compulsory education for all Nigerian children who were resident in Akwa Ibom State.
“I am being accused because I love God so much that I assembled the largest choir in the world to sing to God and broke the Guiness Book of world record. I was an uncommon performer as a governor, through the execution of land mark projects totalling over 500 that I couldn’t even commission before I left office.
” There is no politically exposed person that people will not throw innuendo at. Allegations would continue to go after politically exposed persons of high calibre. You don’t look at all those, you look at my track records,” he declared.
Earlier, the preferred deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, while speaking with newsmen, described the rumor of his joint ticket with Akpabio being jettisoned by President Tinubu as wishful thinking by those who are scared of the joint ticket.
According to him, “the APC is the largest party in Africa. It is a respected party whose words are its bond. There is nothing like the president and the party have backed out of their support for us. The APC is a very serious and respected party. The alleged withdrawal of support by the President only exists in the minds of those who are yet to come to terms with the position of the party on the national assembly leadership is final and sacrosanct. “