The senators questioned Akpabio’s authority to make such decisions without their consent.
Chaos erupted in the Senate chambers as Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced the appointment of Abba Moro (PDP, Benue South) as minority leader and Osita Ngwu (PDP, Enugu West) as minority whip.
The appointments immediately sparked outrage among members of the minority caucus, particularly the Labour Party (LP) senators, who questioned Akpabio’s authority to make such decisions without their consent.
Both Moro and Ngwu, both belonging to the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), replaced Simon Mwadkwon (PDP, Plateau North) and Darlington Nwokocha (LP, Abia Central), who were recently ousted from their positions by a court ruling.
LP Senator Tony Nwoye (Anambra North) openly opposed Akpabio’s decision, expressing his discontent, “Are we your slaves? Why will the Senate president be picking leaders for us?” Nwoye directed his frustration towards the presiding officer.
In response, Akpabio clarified that the appointments were made based on the signatures of senators who had agreed to the decision. He asserted that he was acting in accordance with the information provided to him and could not make any changes without proper documentation.
“The Senate president can only work with what is before me. You have Senator Abaribe and Aliero, their names are not here,” Akpabio stated, addressing the minority senators.
Expressing sympathy for the minority parties in the Senate, Akpabio urged them to put their house in order as he insisted that his actions were guided by the information presented to him.