The women professionals of the All Progressives Congress from the South-South geo-political zone have thrown their weight behind the nomination of the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for the position of the 10th President of the Senate.
Akpabio, a former Minister of the Niger Delta, was one of the adopted candidates of the APC.
Other aspirants still in the race are Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu; former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari; former APC National Organizing Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso and Senator Sani Musa.
Reacting in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, Coordinator of the South-South Women Professionals, Blessing Ossom, back Akpabio’s adoption by the ruling party, saying his Senate Presidency would work to implement the National Gender Policy (2006) on 35 per cent Affirmative Action for women.
The primary purpose of the National Gender Policy is to combat the different types of discrimination and inequality affecting women in order to achieve equality between the sexes.
But the former candidate of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Nsit Atai Constituency believes that Akpabio has the pedigree to make it happen.
She said, “Senator Akpabio as Commissioner, Governor, Senator, and Minister of the Federal Republic has left no one in doubt that he is more than capable and courageous to deliver and handle the responsibilities of a higher office such as the President of the Senate.
“Knowing his antecedents, we are sure that he will champion the 35 per cent affirmative order, wherein women will occupy a percentage of government positions. Women have proven very capable of being excellent managers and administrators, and therefore, we support Senator Akpabio because it is our desire to see our members occupy sensitive positions of leadership.
“We as mothers from the six States of the South-South geo-political zone of the All Progressives Congress hereby align ourselves with the decision of the National leadership of our Party, wherein our National leaders released a statement, zoning the Senate Presidency of the 10th Senate to the South-South geo-political zone, and nominating Senator Akpabio for the position. We thank our leaders for standing on the side of truth, fairness, and justice.
The group further made a case for the South-South, saying the geo-political zone has not produced a Senate President from 1999 till date and it would only be fair and just to have one of their sons as the leader.
They also affirmed that the South East, on the other hand, has produced five senate presidents since 1999 just as the North Central and North East had each produced Senate Presidents.
The statement further read, “We are of the view that from 1999 till date, the South-South geo-political zone has not produced a Senate President and it is fair and just that every zone line up behind the South-South zone to produce the Senate President at this critical time. In the last count, the South East geo-political zone has produced five senate presidents from 1999 till date and equally produced Deputy Senate President for eight years. The North Central has produced and the North East has produced Senate Presidents.
“We, therefore, call on all other zones to reciprocate the good gestures of the South-South by supporting a proud son of the South-South geo-political zone at this critical time for the position of the Senate President.
“We also discountenance and disassociate ourselves from a faceless group of women by the name South-South Women Compatriots, wherein they claim that they rejected Senator Akpabio as the Senate President. We encourage well-meaning Nigerians to ignore them as it is our view that they are paid political jobbers.”