Barring any last-minute upset, Senator Godswill Akpabio looks set to emerge as the next Senate President of Nigeria.
The former governor of Akwa Ibom state has the backing of key associates of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The outgoing governor of Kano state, Dr Umar Abdullhai Ganduje, confirmed this recently when he said Akpabio’s emergence as the Senate President is ”a done deal.”
Akpabio’s chances were further brightened after Tinubu insisted that the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain is allowed to speak at an event in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
As Akpabio mounted the stage, dozens of senators queued behind him, signalling his popularity among his colleagues.
News.ng lists four reasons why Akapbio is likely to emerge as the next President of the Senate.
Primary election politics:
Akpabio sowed the seed of trust in the heart of Tinubu when he stepped down for the president-elect during the APC presidential primary election last year. The move by the former Akwa Ibom state governor was seen as a masterstroke by political watchers.
Alignment with tinubu’s associates
After the elections, Akpabio quickly embedded himself in the camp of Tinubu by openly affiliating with the president-elect’s foot soldiers in the upper chamber. They include ranking senators like Opeyemi Bamidele from Ekiti state and Senator Solomon Adeola from Ogun state.
Compared to the southeast, the south-south, where Akpabio is from, gave more votes to Tinubu during the presidential election. This triggered the argument in the Tinubu camp that the region ought to be compensated politically for helping Tinubu win the general election.
Having occupied the post of minority leader in the 8th Senate, Akpabio has the required legislative experience to effectively steer the ship of the red chambers. He also has the requisite executive experience as a former governor and minister to understand the inner workings of government.