The United States of America (USA) chapter of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) has issued a call for the President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to resign from his position. This demand is based on what NADECO USA perceives as Akpabio’s lackluster management of the upper legislative chamber.
In a statement released by Mr. Lloyd Ukwu, the Executive Director of NADECO USA, the coalition also urged Senators to initiate impeachment proceedings against Akpabio. They accuse him of turning the Senate into a “laughing stock” due to what they see as naivety, immaturity, and an excessive willingness to please the executive branch without considering the consequences of his actions on the Senate and democratic governance in Nigeria.
NADECO USA asserts that Akpabio, who they believe was “planted” as Senate President by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has compromised the independence and integrity of the legislature. They criticize him for displaying a lack of regard for the Standing Rules of the Senate, which dictate the order of proceedings, robust debates during plenary sessions, and the thorough scrutiny of executive communications and bills.
The pro-democracy group highlights several grievances with Akpabio’s leadership, including his habit of frequently starting plenary sessions late and unnecessarily extending their duration. They also note his tendency to keep presidential communications, which should be read during announcements, until the end of the plenary session, causing inconvenience to Senators.
NADECO USA emphasizes that Akpabio has shown a lack of empathy for the struggling masses of Nigeria and criticized his response to a Senator’s plea to “let Nigerians breathe,” which was met with mocking laughter from his colleagues.
Furthermore, the coalition accuses Akpabio of attempting to amend Senate Standing Rules to prevent first-term Senators from vying for presiding officer positions, a move they argue violates constitutional provisions.
They contend that Akpabio has disrespected Senators and treats them with a lack of regard. They also assert that he has transformed the National Assembly into an annex of the Presidential Villa, working closely with the executive to approve loans and other requests without following due process or allowing for robust debate.
In conclusion, NADECO USA expresses its belief that Akpabio is not fit to hold the position of Senate President in Nigeria at this time. They threaten to mobilize their members in the USA and Nigerians in the diaspora for mass action if Akpabio does not resign or if Senators fail to impeach him. The group also pledges to use its influence to ensure that the international community no longer regards the 10th Senate under Akpabio as a serious and responsible institution.
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