10th NASS: Arewa Christian group backs Akpabio for Senate presidency

An Arewa religious group under the aegis of Northern Christian Youth Professionals has appealed to Senators-elect to consider the unity of Nigerians by electing former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, as Senate President of the 10th National Assembly.

The group hinged his recommendation on the need to balance the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket that brought in President Bola Tinubu and his deputy, Senator Kashim Shettima, stressing that any attempt to elect another adherent of the Islamic faith could create tension in the country.

The appeal, which was made in a statement issued on Monday night by NCYP Chairman, Isaac Abrak, is coming ahead of Tuesday’s election of presiding officers for both the lower and upper chambers.

The APC had micro-zoned the position of Senate president to Akpabio while the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau, was adopted for the office of Deputy Senate President.

In the House of Representatives, the seat of Speaker was zoned to popular Kaduna legislator, Tajudeen Abass, while the reps-elect from South East, Kalu, clinched the Deputy Speaker slot.

The arrangement had sparked outrage from other aspirants in the race and their cronies, with many blaming the party leadership for not consulting them before making the announcement.
the immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

Reacting to the drama, Abrak urged President Bola Tinubu to prioritise the appointment of Northern Christians into his cabinet and government parastatals to change the earlier perception the community has about him.

He said, “We believe that a Southern Christian Senate President would contribute significantly to the balance of power (with reference to Muslim-Muslim ticket) and representation in the highest echelons of government. This appointment would promote religious equity and equality, ensuring that the Christian community’s voice is heard and respected.

“The current composition of the Nigerian government, with both the President and Vice President being Muslims, underscores the need for balance and diversity in key leadership positions. In the spirit of fostering unity and embracing religious pluralism, we endorse President Tinubu’s support of Senator Godwin Akpabio and Senator Barau Jibrin as suitable candidates for the esteemed position of Senate President and Vice President respectively.

“We call upon all Senators, particularly those of Northern extraction, to recognize the importance of unity and national cohesion. By rallying behind Senator Godwin Akpabio and Senator Barau Jibrin, we can send a powerful message of inclusivity, religious harmony, and shared governance to the entire nation.

“The Northern Christian Youth Professional remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting fairness and inclusivity within the Nigerian political landscape. As an organisation representing the interests of Northern Christian youths, we advocate for the equitable distribution of power and representation among all religious groups.”

(Punch)