Senators commend election of Akpabio, Jibrin as leaders of 10th Senate

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Abuja, June 13, 2023 – A cross-section of members of the newly inaugurated 10th Senate on Tuesday commended the election of Sen. Godswill Akpabio (APC-Akwa-Ibom) and Sen. Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano) as Senate President and Deputy Senate President, respectively.

The senators bared their minds to reporters in separate interviews after the swearing-in of the two senate leaders in Abuja.

Sen. Neda Imasuen (LP-Edo), while commending the emergence of the duo, said such leadership was capable of effectively managing the robust assembly that the 10th Senate promised to be.

“I’m very excited because we now have a robust parliament. It used to be two parties, but now we have eight parties in the Senate.

“So, the conversation will not be one-sided or two-sided, the conversation is going to be more robust and enterprising.

“It is going to be a situation where the debates cannot be partisan, it has to be a Nigerian debate. It is going to be good and better for the country.”

Sen. Abdul Ningi (PDP- Bauchi) described the election as free and fair as well as without the much-anticipated drama.

“That is what makes the institution of the Senate different. The animosity, the fear of what happened in the last two days completely vanished.

“You go into the hall and you see how people are embracing themselves and that is parliament and that is democracy.

“We have refused to be intimidated by any enforcement and that is why we said there must be an election.

“And those who came with the idea of theater party and the sitting government had the day we have no problem.

“We know we are in the minority. The position I took was not the position of my party but that of the minority caucus and you could see not all of us actually voted on the same page.

“Some people actually went to negotiate and that is parliament. But I believe in the six months or so we are going to bind together by putting the nation first.”

Sen. Ede Dafinone (APC-Delta) described Tuesday as a great day for the senate.

“The 10th Senate has been launched.

“We have a dynamic Senate President with an outstanding Deputy both with excellent reputation and excellent track records.

“We are hoping and praying they will follow the lead already given by President Bola Tinubu who has hit the ground running.

“He has shone Nigerians that he is ready to get the job done and the national assembly must support him to do that.

“With two dynamic leaders in position, I hope Nigerians will see that the Senate is ready to hit the ground running as soon as possible.”

Dafinone said that he would bring his 30-year experience and qualification in accounting to bear on the task of legislation.

“In terms of the environment and accounting, I have quite some expertise. But aside from that, I’m a manufacturer and exporter. I have a rubber plantation in Delta we export rubber to Europe and China. I have been doing that for over 20 years.”

Sen. Osita Izunaso (APC-Imo), who had earlier stepped down for Akpabio, said that the most important thing was that democracy had been deepened.

“So, it is not about winner or loser. There is no winner or loser because we are still first among equals.

“And you have to work diligently to carry the Senate along.

“The Senate is far different from the Executive where one man calls the shot. We are all equals; we are all colleagues; we are all sworn in today as senators.

“I wish Akpabio well as Senate President. If I had won, I would also expect him to support me. I will give him support.”

Ipalibo Banigo (PDP-Rivers), one of the female senators, said that the 10th Assembly would be a transformational assembly that would touch lives of Nigerians

“Nigerians will feel our impact,” she promised.

She thanked God and her constituents, Rivers West, for electing her into this position.

“I will make sure that everything that is a problem to my constituents is given due attention in the Senate, in the National Assembly.

“As a woman, I will work with other women to progress on the issue of gender.”

Sen. Francis Fadahunsi (PDP-Osun) said that the election was keenly contested.

“We will work together to ensure a rancour-free parliament,” he said.

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