Senate Presidency:Ex Zamfara Gov, Yari Rejects Akpabio As APC Consensus Candidate

A former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, is presently on a collision course with former minister and former Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio over the Senate Presidency of the yet-to-be-inaugurated 10th National Assembly.

Sources revealed that against the persuasion of the “president-elect” Bola Tinubu who is said to be foisting Akpabio’s choice on the Red Chambers, Yari has refused to step down, signalling a fresh crisis among the senators and senators-elect, particularly under the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Akpabio and Yari are among the nine contenders for the Senate presidency of the 10th assembly which is expected to be inaugurated on June 13, 2023.

Another source revealed that one of the front runners, Senator Ali Ndume, was asked by the “president-elect” to drop his ambition and support the Akpabio/Barau ticket, which he reportedly obliged.

The source said that “The President-elect summoned Ndume and asked him to step down for Akpabio in the interest of national cohesion, fairness and religious balancing which he obliged.“

He also insisted that Ndume should be in the frontline to deliver Akpabio as the next Senate president. That’s how we started collecting signatures.

Efforts to get the former governor of Zamfara State to step down failed.

SaharaReporters recently exclusively published a story about how Senator Akpabio refused to honour an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the excuse of ill health.

The newspaper also reported that the EFCC had re-invited Akpabio over allegations of abuse of office and misappropriation of billions of Naira.

The EFCC earlier invited Akpabio to appear for questioning on March 29 but the lawyer representing the Senator-elect, Umeh Kalu (SAN), in a letter to the anti-graft agency said his client would be unable to honour the invitation due to his ill health.

The lawyer said Akpabio was undergoing treatment for pneumonia and cardiac arrhythmia and therefore asked the antigraft agency to pick another date.

According to the lawyer, Akpabio had already arranged medical appointments overseas.

However, SaharaReporters recently obtained another letter from the EFCC asking Akpabio to come to its headquarters in Abuja on May 9, 2023.

The letter titled, ‘Investigation Activities Re: Senator Godswill Akpabio’s Appointment Letter Of Invitation’ was signed by ACE II SM Ala, Head, CMU-1.

The letter reads, “I refer to your letter number dated March 27, 2023 on the above subject. In view of the above, you are kindly requested to inform your client Senator Godswill Akpabio to personally report for an interview with the undersigned through the Head, CMU-1 team on 9th May, 2023 at 5th Floor, EFCC Headquarters Plot 301/302 Institutions and Research District. Jabi, Abuja at 10:00am.”

According to sources, Akpabio is trying to use the endorsements by his colleagues as a ploy to blackmail the EFCC into backtracking on its move to investigate him.

One of the sources who spoke to SaharaReporters said, “If Senator Akpabio does not have a hidden agenda and also skeleton in his cupboard, why is he trying to use the name of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu to hoodwink the Senators-elect to sign his phantom and ill-timed endorsement to become the sole candidate for the election for the office of the Senate President?”

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