The Parliament Diary

BREAKING: Senator Akpabio Elected Senate President of the 10th NASS, Barau clinches Deputy Senate

By Toffa Momoh, Abuja

A former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, has been elected as the Senate President of the 10th Assembly.

Akpabio, who is the preferred candidate of the All Progressives Congress, was paired with the senator representing Kano South, Jibrin Barau.

The voting in the election of a new Senate President had commenced with Akpabio and former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator-elect Abdulazeez Yari, going toe to toe.

After a quick recess, Sani Tambuwal, the Clerk of the National Assembly, declared Akpabio as the Senate President having garnered 63 votes leaving his rival with 46 votes.

Against the announced time of 10 a.m., the election started before 9 a.m.

After the Clerk of the National Assembly called for nominations, the senator-elect for Borno South, Ali Ndume, nominated Godswill Akpabio, senator-elect for Akwa Ibom North-East, as President of the Senate. Akpabio accepted the nomination; while Elisha Abbo, senator-elect for Adamawa North, nominated Abdulaziz Yari, senator-elect for Zamfara West.

The senators protested that Yari was not allowed to stand for the position as a first-time senator.

After the lawmakers cast their votes in alphabetical order, two representatives of each team came to count their votes.

Senators Adeola Solomon and Ndume came out to represent Senator Akpabio, while Abbo and the senator-elect representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Jimoh Ibrahim, represented Senator Yari.

Meanwhile, senator-elect representing Kano South senatorial district, Jibrin Barau, has emerged as the Deputy Senate President.

Barau was nominated by the former Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and seconded by the lawmaker representing Kwara North, Saliu Mustapha.

Barau accepted the nomination and emerged as the Deputy Senate President of the 10th Assembly unopposed.

Having emerged unopposed, the Clerk to the National Assembly, Magaji Tambuwal, declared Barau as the Deputy Senate President.

Barau had thrown his hat in the ring for the Senate President but after a meeting with the president, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, the Kano lawmaker withdrew and took the position of the Deputy Senate President.

The position was keenly contested at the initial stages with lawmakers Sani Musa and Orji Kalu expressing interest in the seat.

However, upon Barau’s choice as the favoured candidate, Musa withdrew from the race but refused to camp with the Akpabio/Barau ticket while Kalu continued in the race till Monday evening when the governors and lawmakers from the South-East met with the Akpabio, Barau and the president.

Musa also on Tuesday morning declared his support for the party’s choice.

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