Why PDP chose Saraki as Senate president – Akpabio

One year after the Eight Senate was inaugurated,
Godswill Akpabio, the minority leader in the house and
former governor of Akwa Ibom state have revealed
why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not
produce the Senate president.
According to Senator Akpabio, PDP could have produce the
Senate president, following the absence of a substantial
number of their colleagues from the All Progressives
Congress (APC), but decided to put the interest of the nation
first, The Sun reports.
Speaking on Thursday, June 9, when Senate held a special
session to commemorate its one year anniversary, Akpabio
also revealed some of the intrigues that preceded the
election of Bukola Saraki as Senate president.
He said: “If we had wanted to take over the Senate, PDP
would have done that. We had the chance to take all the
positions.
“But, because we were not greedy, we decided to allow APC
take over.”
He called on APC senators to express gratitude to PDP for
displaying an uncommon show of sportsmanship and said:
“We want to assist the APC government to succeed, despite
all your efforts not to succeed.
“APC should be grateful to PDP for not taking over the
Senate. It was uncommon.”

According to Senator Akpabio, PDP could have produce the
Senate president in June 2015, but decided to put the
interest of the nation first.
On the general state of affairs in the country, Akpabio
warned that if something urgent was not done, Nigeria
could be plunged into crisis.
He said: “In the South-South, people have abandoned their
homes because of activities of Niger Delta Avengers. The
North is under turmoil.
“The South-east is boiling because of agitation. The South-
West is the only peaceful area.
“I want to urge APC to market this country very well. The
way APC is saying the country is full of criminals, investors
will not come here to invest. They must change the way
they talk about Nigeria. Things need to change.”
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, in his remarks,
said only God gives power and called on detractors to leave
the Red Chamber alone.
“We can only remain patriotic. Our parties may differ, but,
we have one country and one constituency, which is
Nigeria.
“To our detractors, let me just say there is God. It is God
that gives power and He gives to whoever he wants.”
In his remarks, Saraki, who presided at plenary, reminded
his colleagues that Nigerians expect so much from them.
He said: “For too long, Nigerians have challenged us to
justify our presence in this chamber.
“Many have wondered what exactly we do here or why we
should be entitled to certain privileges.
“I believe the best answer we can provide to all these is to
continue to seek ways that would enable the ordinary
citizens feel the impact of the senate in their lives.
“I dream of a day when the poor woman sitting in her
house in rural Awka, Anambra State, would be able to see
the benefit of our work on her life.
“I dream of a day when a child going to school in Gusau
would feel the benefit of the laws that we make.
“I dream of a day when a young lady in Oshogbo, Osun
State, would be able to say how the Senate has helped her
small business.
“I dream of a day when a farmer in Ogoja, Cross River State
would see how those of us gathered in this chamber has
helped to improve his life.
“I am confident that if we continue on the path we have
walked in the past year, that day will come soon.”
NAIJ.com recalls that a meeting held by members of the
PDP on the eve of the inauguration of the Eight Senate,
adopted Senator Bukola Saraki as the Senate president, in
exchange for the deputy slot in the Senate.
The all-night meeting came to a conclusive end in the
morning after heated arguments for and against Saraki,
with the agreement that all PDP members should cast their
votes for Saraki in exchange for support for Ike
Ekweremadu as the deputy Senate president.
And just as scripted, the PDP got their permutations right as
Saraki was elected Senate president, June 9, 2015, while Ike
Ekweremadu was elected deputy Senate president after
getting 54 votes to defeat Senator Ali Ndume of the APC,
who polled 20 votes. The result meant that for the first time
in the history of Nigeria, there was going to be bipartisan
leadership in the National Assembly.

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