Some Northern Senators Intensify Push for Akpabio’s Ouster, Claims He is Unable to Tame Yorùbánization Agenda

…Claim Senate President unable to tame Tinubu’s ‘Yorubanisation’ agenda

A few days after facts emerged that plans were underway to push for the ouster of the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, there are facts that Northern senators are angry over the alleged on-going ‘Yorubanisation’ agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the inability of Akpabio to tame him.

Some northern senators who spoke to some newsmen in confidence said the revelation of the disaffection on committee appointments was only diversionary.

According to the senators, the real angst of the group of senators was the suspicion of the incapacity of Akpabio to checkmate what some northern senators called the Yorubanisation of the country’s financial system and the economy.

Besides the alleged perception of Akpabio’s lack of capacity to checkmate the purported domination of the Yorùbá ethnic nationalities in the financial ecosystem, his alleged refusal to deal with some powerful interest groups, particularly some petrol importers and the electricity distribution companies on some proposed financial deals bordering on 40 per cent electricity tariff hike and payment of outstanding money to fuel importers.

Media reports had last weekend alleged a plot by some unnamed senators against Akpabio, alleging lopsided distribution of Grade A committees mainly in favour of his supporters and the discrimination of those who opposed him during the leadership contest.

While it was gathered that the allegation may have some substance, it has, however, emerged that some rivals of the Senate President may have regrouped using as a reason, his apparent failure to check the lopsided appointments by the President in favour of the Yorùbá, especially in the financial sector.

Among the senators, who were alleged to have regrouped with a mission of standing up to Senator Akpabio were some former governors drawn from the North and at least, one from the South-South.

The group has now formally come out by presenting Senator Elisha Abbo, APC, Adamawa North as its face.

Abbo, at the weekend, accused Akpabio of marginalising his rivals in the leadership contest and their supporters in the distribution of the committee positions.

However, sources within the Abbo group have now revealed that the angst of the group was far more and go beyond the Senate President.

The source said: “The main issue is our fear that Akpabio cannot check this Yorubanisation of the financial system that is going on now.”

One of the sources who spoke on the basis of confidentiality, alluded to the appointments at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Customs, among others that have recently been infused with Yoruba leadership.

The control of the agencies is besides the appointment of Yoruba ministers in the financial sector and the blue economy.

“Yes, the reason why you can see that northerners are mostly involved is that most of those being removed and replaced with Yorùbá are northerners,” the source further revealed.

It was further gathered that the aim of the senators was to enthrone a Senate President the group believes can checkmate President Tinubu.

Besides the appointments, the group was also said to be working on behalf of some interest groups in the economy who believed that they were shortchanged after reaching agreements with the president and Akpabio on the payment of subsidies to the petrol importers.

It was gathered that an arrangement had been reached with the presidency that funds generated from the removal of fuel subsidy would be used to settle petrol importers within the first two months of the removal of subsidy.

The fund amounting to N2 trillion has, however, not been so used, but rather pushed to palliative intervention.

Another interest group said to have infiltrated the ranks of the dissident senators were some electricity distribution companies who were said to have also reached an agreement with the presidency and Akpabio for an upward review of 40 per cent of the tariff.

That agreement was, however, discountenanced on the Senate floor by Akpabio.

Just like those being pushed out in the appointments in the financial sector, northern business interest groups, are believed to be more affected by the decision not to pay the petrol importers.