Strong indication has emerged that former Akwa Ibom State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio, may have dropped his ambition to run for Senate President of the 10th National Assembly.
It was gathered that Akpabio may have decided to pursue a ministerial appointment in the cabinet of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with his eye on a return to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs or the Petroleum Resources Ministry.
Recall that Akpabio, a former Senate Minority Leader, had resigned as Niger Delta Affairs Minister from the present administration following the provision of section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act of 2022 to contest the presidential primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reliable sources told Vanguard that Akpabio dropped his Senate Presidency ambition because of the decision of the ruling APC to zone the position to the South-East, with an announcement for the zoning arrangements of all the presiding and principal offices both in the Senate and the House expected soon.
Some of the contenders for the President of the Senate included a former Governor of Abia State and current Chief Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Senators Jibrin Barau (APC, Kano North); Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).
Also speculated to be on the list against the ranking standing rule are the former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari (APC, Zamfara West); the outgoing Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi (APC, Ebonyi South), and a former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North).
But Akpabio has reportedly told his loyalists and aides to tone down their campaign for his senate presidential ambition in the media to soften the ground to achieve his ministerial reappointment in Tinubu’s cabinet.
According to a source, Akpabio has begun reaching out to Tinubu directly to lobby for a ministerial slot.
The source said: “To avoid losing out, Akpabio has since begun reaching out to Bola Tinubu personally and through his allies to return to any of the plum ministries which appears to be more favourable to the former two-time Governor when compared to the Senate President position.
His chances are very dim, and he knows this, our Party and the President-Elect are committed to forming a Government of National unity and quell restiveness in geo-political zones in the country, beginning with the Southeast by giving them the opportunity to produce the next Senate President.”