Plans to impeach Akpabio appear to gather pace as 10 former governors support the move

PLANS to impeach senate president Senator Godswill Akpabio appear to be gathering pace as about 10 former governors currently serving in the upper chamber of the National Assembly have joined the call for his removal.


Earlier this week, the parliamentary watchdog, the Coalition for Parliamentary Democracy (CPD) asked Senator Akpabio to step down, having fallen out of favour with his colleagues in the senate. A coalition of civil society organisations are calling for his impeachment and now, the former governors have added their voices to the fray.


Yesterday, some pro-Akpabio senators were said to have embarked on a troubleshooting mission to their colleagues. Some of them were reportedly contemplating getting the national working committee of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the party chairman Abdullahi Ganduje involved in the matter.


CPD, which was reacting to claims from Senator Akpabio’s office that one south-south governor was behind the impeachment threat to remove him from office, counselled the senate president to stop pointing fingers of accusation and rather come clean on why his colleagues want him out. Dr Menike Johnson, the CPD national coordinator, accused Senator Akpabio of seeking to heat up the polity by pointing fingers whereas his colleagues had clearly adduced that his failure to fit into the duties of a presiding officer and providing a transparent and credible leadership as reason for their decision to move against him.


Insisting that the nation needs a very stable and united National Assembly at this critical time, CPD said Nigerians cannot afford to take a senate that is plagued by an unstable leadership which does not command the loyalty of the lawmakers. According to the coalition, it is disappointing that instead of answering his colleagues, the embattled senate president is resorting to a face-saving measure of accusing a state governor, which it says is a very dangerous and un-statesmanlike venture that is capable of triggering crisis in the polity.


Dr Johnson said: “As parliamentary watchers, we believe that Senator Akpabio should face the issues raised by his colleagues including allegations of lack of transparency, violation of elementary rudiments, conventions and processes of presiding over the senate, diminishing the integrity of the senate on financial matters and claims of preferentialism in the management of the senate. The attempt to overheat the polity by blaming external individuals is therefore a self-indicting measure that does not provide the much-expected answers to very critical issue of leadership failure raised by senators against the embattled senate president.


“Having admitted that he has lost favour with his colleagues and having no answers to the very serious issues raised by the senators which borders on leadership failure, we counsel Senator Akpabio to save the nation further trouble by stepping down as senate president. Our nation is in a very critical moment and Nigerians cannot afford a Senate that is plagued by an unstable leadership which does not command the loyalty of the lawmakers.”


Over the weekend, Senator Elisha Abbo of Adamawa State claimed that Akpabio loyalists, sponsored the news report about his rumoured planned impeachment in order to set northern senators against President Bola Tinubu. He said: “I woke up to see over 10 mainstream Nigerian newspapers, all carrying news of a plan to impeach Senator Akpabio by senators from morthern Nigeria.


"The Whistler Newspaper went ahead to mention Senator Yari, Senator Tambuwal and Senator Onawo, among others, as the senators behind the move. As a northern Senator and an official of the Northern Senators Forum, I make it bold to say that this news is deliberately planted and syndicated by the camp of Senator Akpabio just to set President Bola Tinubu against the north.”