The Middle Belt Progressive Forum has thrown its weight behind Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume as the preferred candidate for the position of Senate President.
The National President of the forum, Alhaji Hamid Usman told newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday that his group welcomed the decision by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to zone the position of the Senate President to the North Central.
Usman said “The Forum welcomes the decision particularly when this region has a healthy mix of Christians, Muslims and other faiths, which opens up the space for the APC to still be able to strike a balance in the event that religion becomes a factor. The North Central, incidentally also has ranking Senators, which is requisite for deciding who will be the first among equals in the Senate.
“We urge the APC to look at a candidate that will move the Change mantra and domesticate it across the minority ethnic nationalities in north central states of Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi, Kwara and Plateau states to create a Senate that genuinely unite the nation.
“While the final decision rest with the party and its caucus, we advise that the APC settles for Senator George Akume for this position on the basis of the goodwill he enjoys across the country, his large support base nationwide and his Tiv ancestry that incidentally placed him in the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria.
“We further note that Senator Akume, in his role as Senate Minority Leader and a former state governor with additional experience as a technocrat is well versed in statecraft to pilot the affairs of the Senate in a way that will create harmonious working relations with the other arms of government.
“We believe the APC will be strengthening its position with Nigerians by elevating Senator Akume rallying round him as a pillar for the incoming administration.”He said.
The forum cautioned against opting for a Senate President who would be continually distracted by having to keep fending off existing corruption indictments.
Usman said this would have implication for youths and the general populace who may think it is fashionable to aspire to public office with series of indictments for corruption.