By Ahmed Tijani Ibn Mustaph8a
So much has been said about who deserves to lead the 10th National Assembly. Anyway you look at it, everyone has a point. Politics generally is a game of interests, with many decisions taken in the spirit of power sharing and balancing to make for equity, justice and fairness.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has for over a month released its zoning formula for the principal offices most especially in the Senate. In it is Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio from Akwa Ibom State (South South) and Senator Barau Jibrin from Kano State (North West).
Looking carefully at it denotes why it is vital enough to elect candidates who are qualified and competent enough to lead the parliament in the Bola Ahmed Tinubu dispensation.
Performance in government or good governance is not a mean feat. It has to do with doing the right things for the well-being of the over 200 million Nigerians the APC promised Renewed Hope.
A lot of questions have been asked as to why the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, is the most qualified for the job. In Nigeria, the President of the Senate, apart from presiding over the affairs of the upper legislative chamber chairs the entire National Assembly deciding the institutional framework for policy, organisation and management.
Godswill Akpabio became a Senator in 2015, right after his successful tenure of office as Governor of an oil rich state. The “uncommon” Governor as he was fondly called in his 8 years of administering the state was successful with tremendous achievements.
The achievements ranging from infrastructure to health, education, security, industrial revolution among others speak volume of how prepared he was for governance. Apart from delivering the dividends of democracy to his people, Akpabio also redefined governance in the state bringing prosperity to the land. His experience in governance and public administration immediately gave him the platform to become the Minority Leader of the 8th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Senator became the Minister of Niger Delta affairs in former President Buhari’s administration due to his uncommon footprints in service to his people and humanity. The decision therefore to re-elect him this time around is as a result of his very productive leadership and the sense of bequeathing legacies to his people make him deserving of becoming Nigeria’s number three citizen.
The decision of the party to make him lead the Senate is not an accident. First, he is from the Southern part of Nigeria where the President comes from and politically correct to be the region to produce the head of the legislative arm of government.
Secondly, he is a Christian who breaks the rank of the number one and two citizens coming from the same faith. Akpabio is a dutiful Christian and personality who sordidly believes in the progressive legacy of PMB and by extension, PBAT. He is not just a politician, but one who understands how and why the leadership should work for the country. He balances the faith question and why government should steadily work for the country’s progress, without complaints or recourse to the failure of previous administrations.
For the fact that nation building is a joint task, it is just the right thing to allow the best lead the rest, with assurance to Nigerians that Akpabio will not just be a leader, but a servant that will make the headship of the nation work more for the nation’s development.
Senator Goodwill Akpabio’s training as a lawyer means he is equipped with the requisite skills to effectively lead the senate in this dispensation. He is also one of the few politicians in Nigeria who would have no issues working effectively and effortlessly with opposition to achieve a common goal.
With an Akpabio-led senate presidency, we can kiss goodbye to the days of clownish and dramatic displays where the serious business of lawmaking is concerned.
Nigeria finally has the chance to have a calm and matured head, leading the National Assembly and we must not pass up this chance.
Mustapha writes from Abuja.