After his election as president of Nigeria’s 10th National Assembly on 13 June, Akpabio now finds himself at the centre of a power struggle in the upper legislative chamber, with longstanding allegations of corruption potentially used as leverage by the executive branch.
Akpabio, a former governor and federal minister, secured 63 votes, overcoming his challenger, ex-Zamfara governor Abdulaziz Yari, who garnered 46 votes. As the new Senate president prepared to take his oath of office, he was surrounded by senators shaking his hand and patting his back, a display of camaraderie that belies the political intricacies at play.”I will be a senate president that will stand for all,” Akpabio said in his inaugural speech.
Akpabio, 60, replaces Ahmad Lawan, the Yobe State senator who had occupied the seat since 2019.
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Akpabio’s political career began under the administration of
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