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NASS: Tinubu adopts Akpabio for Senate president, Barau as deputy

Bola Tinubu, the president-elect, has reportedly settled on Godswill Akpabio and Jibrin Barau for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively. According to sources within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu made the decision at a meeting with the candidates in Abuja. Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state, and Barau were among the nine contenders for the Senate Presidency, which is expected to be inaugurated on June 13.

During the meeting, Tinubu reportedly asked Barau to drop his ambition for the Senate Presidency and take the position of Deputy Senate President instead. The President-elect urged Barau to allow a Christian Senate President to emerge in the interest of peace, fairness, and equity in the country. The sources revealed that Barau, after some deliberation, agreed to step down and support the emergence of a Christian Senate President.

The decision to settle on Akpabio and Barau as the Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively, is expected to pave the way for a smooth start to Tinubu’s administration. The President-elect is said to have made the decision to promote religious balance and national cohesion.

Akpabio, who served as governor of Akwa Ibom state from 2007 to 2015, is a former member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and defected to the APC in August 2018. He was elected to represent Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district in the 2019 elections. Akpabio is a seasoned politician who is widely regarded as one of the kingmakers in Nigerian politics.

Barau, on the other hand, is a senator representing Kano North senatorial district. He was first elected to the Senate in 2015 and re-elected in 2019. Barau is a trained lawyer and a member of the ruling APC.

Tinubu’s decision to settle on Akpabio and Barau has been hailed by some Nigerians as a step towards promoting national unity and religious balance. Others, however, have criticized the move, arguing that it undermines the principles of democracy and fair competition.

The emergence of a Christian Senate President is expected to assuage the concerns of many Nigerians who have been calling for religious balance in the country’s political leadership. The current Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, is a Muslim from Yobe state in the northeast, while the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, is a Christian from Ogun state in the southwest.

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