SENATORS, yesterday, sharply disagreed on moves to remove Senate President Godswill Akpabio over alleged “romance” with President Bola Tinubu, manipulation of screening of ministerial nominees and creation of instability in the Red Chamber with the appointment of leaders of the various committees.
Apart from allegedly sowing seeds of discord in the Senate by marginalising some ranking senators in the chairmanship and vice chairmanship of A list committees, one of the aggrieved senators said Akpabio jokes too much, is insensitive and unreliable and must go.
Specifically, one of them said some senators had started collecting signatures for Akpabio’s removal ahead of the September 26 resumption.
Indeed, another senator said unlike Ahmad Lawan in the Ninth Senate, who made his loyalists chairmen of A-list committees and his opponents vice chairmen, Akpabio made his loyalists chairmen and vice chairmen of such committees and nothing for his ”opponents.”
However, a member of the Senate leadership said the impeachment plot will not succeed.
“Collecting signatures is one thing and getting the number to impeach Akpabio is another. Impeachment is by a two-thirds majority, not a simple majority. You know that 63 of us voted for Akpabio. He gave us appointments and some people from the other side also got appointments as chairmen of committees. Do you think they will support his impeachment?” he said.
A pro-Akpabio senator said the Senate President made some mistakes but they are not enough to warrant his removal. He said: “There is a little animosity in the Senate.
There are certain things that the President did not do right. We have said we will look into those things. Akpabio made a little mistake with the N2m vacation allowance. We know that senators who did not get what they were looking for in terms of headship of committees are angry.
They also said he is romancing the executive too much. It is too early, there is nothing on the ground to warrant Akapbio’s removal. Talking about romance with the executive is it as bad as the Ninth Senate of Lawan and President Buhari.? I don’t think Akpabio has committed any serious offence that will warrant his impeachment as of now.”
Contacted on the issue, Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume, said Akpabio has not done anything or committed any impeachable offence.
He said: “I read the report of the moves to impeach Akpabio in the newspaper. Some people are not happy with the way the committees were distributed but it is only two cases in which ranking senators were not made chairmen of A-list committees. A few ranking members were not considered. The cases will be looked into.
Moreover, the Selection Committee approved the committees. The selection committee comprises six members from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and four from the opposition.
Members of the selection committee are senate president, deputy senate president, majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip, deputy chief whip, minority leader, deputy minority leader, minority whip and deputy minority whip.