The plot to impeach Senate President Godswill Akpabio has deepened, with more than ten former governors serving in the upper chamber and a coalition of civic organizations adding their voices to the growing clamor for his impeachment.
Reports emerged on Tuesday that pro-Akpabio senators had embarked on a mission to rally support among their colleagues, with some considering involving the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), led by Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, to mediate in the escalating crisis.
An APC official, speaking on the party’s stance, revealed, “The party is closely monitoring the situation, but we have heard that some senators are contemplating meeting with our NWC to help resolve the issue.” The party, however, emphasized that it had not received any official communication regarding Akpabio’s challenges.
While senators supporting Akpabio dismissed earlier reports of a planned impeachment as “phantom,” the Coalition for Parliamentary Democracy (CPD), a parliamentary watchdog, called on the Senate President to step down, citing a loss of favor among his colleagues.
Dr. Menike Johnson, the National Coordinator of CPD, responded to claims from Senator Akpabio’s office that “one South-South Governor” was behind the impeachment threat by urging Akpabio to cease accusations and instead address why his colleagues were calling for his removal.
In a statement, CPD stated, “The nation requires a stable and united National Assembly at this critical juncture. Nigerians cannot afford a Senate plagued by unstable leadership that does not command the loyalty of lawmakers.”
CPD expressed disappointment in Akpabio’s efforts to deflect blame onto external individuals, terming it a “dangerous and unstatesmanlike venture that is capable of triggering a crisis in the polity.”
As the crisis escalates, CPD called on Akpabio to confront the issues raised by his colleagues, including allegations of a lack of transparency, violations of Senate conventions, and preferential treatment in Senate management.
CPD concluded, “Having acknowledged that he has lost favor with his colleagues and with no answers to the serious leadership concerns raised against him, we advise Senator Akpabio to spare the nation further turmoil by stepping down as Senate President.”
The nation finds itself at a critical moment, and Nigerians cannot afford a Senate with unstable leadership that lacks the loyalty of its lawmakers, CPD emphasized.
In a related development, a message circulated among northern senators, allegedly authored by Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo, claimed that Akpabio’s loyalists had orchestrated the news reports of his rumored impeachment to create divisions among Northern Senators and draw President Bola Ahmed Tinubu into the fray. Senator Abbo asserted, “This news is deliberately planted and syndicated by the ‘camp’ of Senator Akpabio just to set President Bola Tinubu against the North.”