Senate Presidency: Why APC settled for Akpabio- Shettima

Vice President-elect Kashim Shettima has explained why the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) endorsed a Christian, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as Senate President.

He said religious tolerance, stability, cohesion and unity of Nigeria were considered before the former Akwa Ibom State governor was tipped as the next National Assembly Chairman.

Apparently echoing the party’s position, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma said any plot to frustrate the decision will fail.

Lagos Central APC Senator-elect Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sani and other groups also hailed the APC’s decision to nominate Akpabio, who they described as an experienced and competent candidate.

Shettima, who endorsed Akpabio for Senate President and Barau Jibrin for the Deputy Senate President addressed over 70 senators-elect, who are members of the Ali Ndume-led Stability Group rooting for their emergence at his campaign office in Abuja.

He said Akpabio’s choice was the best decision made by the party leadership and the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, in the interest of a stable polity.

Shettima said: “Politics shouldn’t be a means of disuniting our people. It should rather be a means of uniting us. The President-elect and the Vice-President-elect are both Muslims.

“It is in the interest of the stability and unity of this country that the next position be given to the Christian faith. If not, it would further validate the alleged islamisation agenda of the APC-led administration.

“It would be perceived as a gratuitous insult on our Christian brothers and sisters who stuck out their necks to support us.

“That was why I was quite pleased with the choice of the party leadership that my uncommon brother and leader in the person of Senator Godswill Akpabio should be the number three citizen of this country.”

He added: “The stability of this nation is much more important than whatever political considerations we may think of.

“We need to have a stable and united nation before we can talk about politics and positions. This is what our leader could do to unite this country in the current circumstances.”

Shettima said Akpabio “has the exposure, competence and experience to occupy the office of the Senate President in the 10th Senate; ditto Senator Jibrin, who has been endorsed as his deputy. Apart from the need for religious balancing, competence and experience also came into play in our choices.”

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