The role of effective legislature in fostering good governance cannot be overemphasized especially in emerging democracies. It is also incontrovertible the fact that the legislature is a critical instrument for the organization of laws which government relies on to ensure smooth governance and societal equilibrium.
Therefore, legislative leadership is crucial to bolster the parliamentary effectiveness, build loyalty Among it’s members and enhance it’s over all image. The Man at the helm of such an important institution needs to have a firm idea of where the legislature, nay, the government is going to and how best to arrive that destination.
Whoever becomes the Senate President in June 2023 will to a large extent determine the vibrancy, vivacity and liveliness of the 10th Assembly, as the Chairman of the entire National Assembly. This is where experience, exposure, capacity and competence of the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio come in. The returning Senator of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District is a square perk in a square hole who is ably positioned to give leadership and direction when elected as the First Among Equals.
The immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs has a stint for unparalleled administrative savvy. This he brought to bare in the discharge of his duty as minister whose ministry supervises the operations of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). This generation will not forget in a hurry how he completed within few months, the Commission’s Secretariat which was abandoned while the Commission was paying humongous amount in rentals. The Man Sen. Godswill Akpabio exhibited uncanny interpersonal skills in calming the nerves of militants agitation and ushered an unprecedented period of peace in the oil rich region. As Senate President, I see Godswill Akpabio bring his immense wealth of conflict management aptitude to give focus and locus to its core responsibility of law making and oversights.
It could be recalled that Sen. Akpabio, while serving as the Minority Leader of the 8th Assembly garnered unassailable experience where he “toed the path of national harmony and sought to build bridges of understanding between the ruling Party and minority parties in the Senate”.
Without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers, Executive Legislative harmony is much needed in the coming government. We are witnesses of how frictions between these Arms of government have mitigated against execution of governmental policies and programmes, which impinged on citizens right on good governance. I see Chief Godswill Akpabio’s Senate Presidency working in harmony with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration taking into consideration the role Sen. Akpabio played in the emergence of Tinubu at the APC Presidential Primaries. The high expectations of Nigerians in the next government can not be sacrificed on a platter of impracticable experimentation in the Senate leadership.
While Nigeria’s people await the outcome of internal deliberations and consultations within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on its zoning arrangements of major offices in the incoming government, it is clear to assert that it is the turn of South South to produce the Senate President. And the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio, possesses the requisite capacity, character, competence and experience for the plum job.