EXCLUSIVE:: APC moves to Zone Senate Presidency to South-South, Akpabio, Oshiomhole jostle
By Ed Malik, A | ed@ddnewsonline.com |
posted March 3, 2023

The All Progressives Congress is perfecting plans to zone the office of the President of the Senate to the South-South geopolitical zone following its victory at the February 25 presidential election.

Already, negotiations have heated up among top stakeholders in the zone, this newspaper learned, with Sen. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and Adams Oshiomhole of Edo emerging as top contenders.

Following the declaration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, from the Southwest, as President-elect, the Senate President was expected to be contested by the Southeast and South-South.

A top national executive of the APC told this medium that both the President-elect and party leaders are not looking toward the Southeast due to the abysmal performance of the party in that zone and the lack of a suitable Senator-elect to support the number three position.

The APC power brokers are also worried that the Southeast caused a lot of instability in the Senate leadership when it produced 5 Senate Presidents during the Obasanjo era. These informed the narrowing of the searchlight for the Senate presidency to the South-South.

Meanwhile, DDNEWS reliably gathered that Akpabio and Oshiomhole are already being seriously considered for the exalted office with proponents weighing up the pros and cons of the two former governors.

Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom, returns to the Red Chamber after winning votes from Akwa Ibom Northwest senatorial district. In 2015, Sen. Akpabio was elected minority leader under the opposition PDP before switching camp to the APC to join forces with the government at the centre.

Analysts say Akpabio’s experience as a former governor, and former Senate principal officer, and his bipartisan network would prove advantageous to deliver his candidacy. He is also said to enjoy the confidence of the President-elect. These would prove crucial for his emergence.

Oshiomhole, a former labour leader and Senator-elect for Edo North senatorial district, is also said to be in the running for the Senate’s top seat though he is not a ranking senator.

The disgraced former National Chairman of the APC is said to be banking on his closeness to Tinubu.

His candidacy will however face an uphill battle with many party stalwarts still wary of his high-handed tenure as the party’s supremo. An insider described Oshiomhole’s bid as “dead on arrival”.

“The Red Chamber is a congregation of seasoned negotiators, not authoritarians. Oshiomhole will not survive it if he mistakenly finds himself in Senate leadership,” opined a returning APC Senator.

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