Edwin Clark, the convener of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), says a Christian senator from the southern region of the country should be elected as the senate president of the 10th national assembly.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has chosen Godswill Akpabio, a former minister of Niger Delta affairs, to be senate president, but there has been opposition from lawmakers who are interested in the position.
Abdulaziz Yari, a former governor of Zamfara, and Orji Uzor Kalu, chief whip of the senate, have insisted on contesting the position.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, Nyesom Wike, former governor of Rivers and Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south district, have all openly endorsed Akpabio for the position.
Reacting to this development, Clark said the national assembly should work to unite the country and ensure that citizens trust one another.
“It is your duty as the legislative arm of government to produce during your term, a united country where the citizens genuinely trust one another, and regard themselves as equal citizens and as brothers and sisters,” he said.
“It is time to heal our land, and in so doing, what I expect of the 10th senate is to give the position of the senate president to a Christian senator from the southern part of the country.”
Clark also castigated Nasir el-Rufai, former governor of Kaduna, for allegedly saying that the APC used religion to win the presidential election.
“The insensitive, irresponsible, uncouth and arrogant statement credited to Nasir El-Rufai, on his plan to impose the Islamic religion on the country, lasting for the next 20 years, is still causing bad blood,” he added.
“It is unthinkable how someone who describes himself as a leader, could utter such a statement, except to cause confusion, which is very obvious that he benefits from such confusion. Because there is no other way of explaining such crass behaviour and statement.”
Meanwhile, el-Rufai came under fire on social media for boasting about Muslims leading the affairs of the country.
“Religion was used, God made Asiwaju victorious. What we did in Kaduna has now been done in the country. No liar who is going to contest using the politics of Christianity will ever win any election again. Peter Obi tried and see how he ended. We’ve tackled it,” the former governor had said.
“Since Asiwaju won the election CAN has been quiet. That is how there will be peace in the country. If this is done again and again and again everything will….. wallahi (swearing) that was what we did. And myself and others, we think we have done our part, Asiwaju has won the election, so our job is done. Our appeal to you is to pray for him to find good people to work with him.”