By Stanley Nwanosike
Mr Osita Okechukwu, Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) says the emergence of Sen. Godswill Akpabio as President of the Senate is a hallmark of APC’s principle of inclusiveness.
Okechukwu also congratulated Akpabio on his emergence as senate president of the 10th assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The emergence of Akpabio shows the in-depth respect of the APC to the principles of inclusiveness and national cohesion,” Okechukwu said on Tuesday.
The VON D-G said this while addressing students of the Department of Political Science of the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) where his 1983 Graduate Set held its 40th Reunion Anniversary.
Okechukwu, a foundation member of the APC, used the National Assembly election during his address to lecture the students on how politics of inclusiveness helped Akpabio to garner 63 votes to defeat Sen. Abdulaziz Yari.
He emphasised that Yari remained eminently qualified to be senate president.
“However, in the enlightened wisdom of the majority of the senators and in line with the general position of Nigerians before the NASS election; there is an imperative stance of having a Christian among the five in the official protocol list of Nigeria,” he said.
He noted that the President, Vice President, Speaker and Chief Justice of Nigeria are all Muslims; thus, the need for at least a Christian as a senate president.
On if Akpabio’s election could harm the doctrine of separation of powers as well as checks and balances of the senate; Okechukwu said: : “Yes, whereas one fancies the independence of the legislature cum executive as enunciated by French philosopher Baron Montesquieu.
“However, we need separation of powers oiled by harmonious relationships.
“For instance, the incremental critical amendments of our rigid 1999 Constitution need to continue, the endorsement of the Green Imperative Programme aimed at revolutionising agriculture and other salient laws and regulations achieved by Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Rep. Femi Gbajabiamialla cannot be dismissed off hand.
“We need such amendments to reduce some extra meat powers embedded in the Exclusive Legislative List,” he said.
He maintained that “Nigeria is at crossroads and needs all hands on deck to come out of the cliff hanger woods”.
According to him, this is especially when President Bola Tinubu has set forth on courageous decisions; he needs the benefit of doubt from all of us, until he veers off.
“Accordingly, after the secret balloting of an election which started by 9a.m.the Clerk declared Akpabio as the senate president.
“Akpabio garnered 63 votes against his rival the former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, who filed the Chief Whip of the ninth Senate, Sen. Orji Kalu, as his deputy, with 43 votes”. (NAN)