Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, pitched his support for the Stability Group rooting for the emergence of Senator Goodswill Akpabio and Senator Barau Jibrin as President and Deputy President of the 10th Senate.
The governor said he aligned himself with the All Progressives Congress (APC) zoning decision, having read the legislative agenda being pushed forward by the Akpabio-led team to raise the bar of lawmaking and readiness to collaborate with the incoming administration of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Sanwo-Olu openly endorsed Akpabio and Jibrin when he received members of the Stability Group in a consultative visit at the State House in Marina on Sunday.
The senators-elect’s visit to the governor came a day after members-elect for the House of Representatives visited Sanwo-Olu for consultation.
The Stability Group comprises 69 senators-elect who had already appended their signatures for the emergence of Akpabio and Jubrin.
Sanwo-Olu said the party nomination process to pave the way for election of senate leadership was in order, stressing that Akpabio’s team possessed the political credentials and leadership qualities to bring about uncommon transformation in the country.
The governor urged the senate leadership nominees to make purposeful legislations as their priority, while maintaining harmonious working relationships with other arms of the government without compromising the Red Chamber’s independence.
He said: “Having discussed extensively and listened to all the plans and agenda presented by Stability Group led by Senator Akpabio, I believe it is proper and appropriate that we, in Lagos, give them our official endorsement. This is a project for the stability of the country, which will benefit Nigerians, especially the people who elected these distinguished lawmakers-elect. They are committed to working harmoniously with the executive and this will bring about a win-win for all our citizens and for democracy.
“We are encouraging other lawmakers-elect who are yet to be on this team to fall in line. I will also appeal to the Stability Group to continue their consultation and collaboration, and not to take anyone for granted. They have personally assured me that they will make the senate leadership as inclusive as possible. The diversity they are preaching is reflected in the number of the senators-elect on the team; it is not one party. The membership cuts across all the parties that are represented in the National Assembly.
“I believe the incoming 10th National Assembly will be about great possibilities and shaping new course for the nation. Given the outstanding profile and experience Senator Akpabio and his team are bringing to the table, I believe there will be new standards and new legislative records will break. I will only urge the incoming senate leadership to surpass whatever achievements recorded by the 9th senate.”
Akpabio, a former Senate minority leader representing Akwa Ibom North-West, described Tinubu as “God’s own choice” for the country’s leadership, saying the incoming administration required the support of dynamic legislative leadership to work together in order to achieve promises made to Nigerians.
The former Akwa Ibom governor pledged he would deploy multi-faceted, multi-dimensional and national approach to lawmaking if he is elected senate president.
He said the senate under his leadership would have a complete control over its affairs without being confrontational with the executive.
Akpabio said he and his deputy would work with the Tinubu administration to make the country better and bring legislations that will support development.
He said: “The Stability Group of the 10th senate is made up of men and women of integrity. We came today to show ourselves to the Governor and also solicit for his support. He has not only thrown his support behind us, he has shown so much hospitality. Today, he stood before the cameras to endorse my humble self to become the president of the 10th senate and Senator Jibrin as Deputy Senate President-designate.
“We are not taking this support for granted. This team has senators-elect from different political backgrounds and parties; we are determined to ensure collaboration and support for the incoming administration of Tinubu whose presidency is a nationalistic project that will bring positive development to Nigeria. We want him to replicate what has happened in Lagos in the last 24 years of democracy to cover the rest of the country.
“Particularly, we are challenged by the economy; we want to see serious improvement in the IGR of the nation to enable us repay our loan facilities. We want to see more foreign direct investment in the country. We will support him through favourable legislations to ensure Nigeria remains investment-friendly and a business destination in Africa.”
Akpabio urged Sanwo-Olu to reach out to his governor colleagues on behalf of the group in order to pave the way for smooth legislative transition in the National Assembly.