The Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, has directed federal lawmakers-elect from the state to vote for Godswill Akpabio as Senate president and Tajudeen Abbas as speaker of the House of Representatives in the 10th National Assembly.
The governor gave the directives in a meeting with the lawmakers-elect in Government House, Port Harcourt on Friday.
He said supporting Messrs Akpabio and Abbas is to advance “national interest.”
This is contained in a statement posted on Facebook by the governor’s spokesperson, Boniface Onyedi.
“The Rivers State governor charged members-elect not to veer off the declared interest of the state in order to remain focused in electing the preferred choices.
“He admonished the members-elect to always work together as a team to make the desired impact and enjoy the dividends that follow.
“Mr Fubara assured the members-elect of continuous support so as to remain relevant in national affairs,” Mr Onyedi said.
Messrs Akpabio and Abbas are the preferred candidates of President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the position of Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 10th National Assembly, respectively.
Despite the endorsement of both candidates by the President and the leadership of APC, Messrs Akpabio and Abbas are still facing stiff opposition from some lawmakers-elect within the ruling APC and opposition parties.
Mr Akpabio, weeks ago, led some National Assembly members-elect to former Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike, to solicit his support for his candidature.
Mr Wike had assured Mr Akpabio that federal lawmakers from Rivers would support the APC preferred candidates because of “national interest”.
Like his predecessor, Mr Fubara also directed federal lawmakers-elect from the state to vote the APC preferred candidates when President Tinubu proclaimed the 10th National Assembly on 13 June.
Responding on behalf of the lawmakers-elect, the Senator-elect for Rivers South-East District, Barry Mpigi, thanked Mr Fubara for the meeting and assured that members will work in line with his directives as the leader of the state.
The PDP is the ruling party in Rivers.
Governor Fubara’s stand is clearly influenced by his predecessor, Mr Wike’s support for Mr Tinubu after falling apart with the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar after he (Wike) lost the 2022 PDP presidential primary.
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