Nigeria’s Senate President Godswill Akpabio and the Chief Whip of the 10th Senate, Senator Ali Ndume were engaged in a shouting match and heated exchange of words on Tuesday.
SaharaReporters learnt that the shouting row between the two senate leaders was over the conduct of Senator Akpabio, which does not sit well with some of his colleagues.
However, SaharaReporters could not establish the specific conduct of Mr Akpabio that led to the shouting match between the two principal officers of the Senate.
“Ndume and Akpabio are in a shouting match and exchange of words in a closed-door executive session over the conduct of Senator Akpabio. Senators are divided on this. Arguments and counter arguments going on,” one of the senators told SaharaReporters.
Ndume is the senator representing Borno South senatorial district since 2011. He was a member of the House of Representatives of Nigeria from 2003 to 2011.
Akpabio is the 15th president of the Nigerian Senate. He served as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District from 2015 to 2019 and since 2023.
Akpabio was also the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs from 2019 to 2022. He previously served as governor of Akwa Ibom State from 2007 to 2015.
Only on Monday, a sacked Nigerian senator from Adamawa State, Senator Elisha Abbo, representing Adamawa North senatorial district, accused Senate President Akpabio of being behind the nullification of his election at the Court of Appeal.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Monday sacked Senator Abbo, a candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) who was earlier declared winner of the March 25 at the National Assembly election.
Abbo at a briefing later said Akpabio was behind his sacking because he (Abbo) failed to work for his (Akpabio’s) senate presidential bid.
The sacked senator said Akpabio had four other senators he wad plotting to send away from the upper chamber.
SaharaReporters on June 14 also reported that Ndume, Senator representing Borno South District, in Borno State, said he should not be held accountable if Akpabio turned out to be the worst senate president.
Ndume had during an interview on Channels TV said he believed he should not share in any liability attached to Akpabio’s performance.
Ndume was one of those who spearheaded the campaign for Akpabio and Deputy Speaker Barau Jibrin, leading up to their election.
The senator when asked if Akpabio’s performance should reflect on him as one of his endorsers argued that Akpabio should be held accountable for his actions.
He said, “I don’t think that is right. I’m not Akpabio. Even before God, Akpabio will account for his own; I will account [for mine].”
“I said he’s the best,” the Majority Leader of the ninth Senate said.
“If he turns out being the worst, I’m not going to be responsible. How can you hold me accountable? I didn’t force anybody to vote. I believe he’s the best, but I don’t know what he will do tomorrow. I can’t say that.”