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Southern senators’ forum emerges to ‘uphold nation’s unity’

By George Opara, Abuja
06 July 2017   |   4:27 am
A Southern Senators Forum yesterday emerged at the upper chamber of the National Assembly with a vow to support a united Nigeria against the backdrop of agitations by some ethnic groups seeking secession.

Godswill Akpabio

A Southern Senators Forum yesterday emerged at the upper chamber of the National Assembly with a vow to support a united Nigeria against the backdrop of agitations by some ethnic groups seeking secession.

Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, who announced the birth of the forum at a press briefing in Abuja, said it would be apolitical because of its membership which cuts across all the parties represented at the senate.

He urged support for the ongoing efforts by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to dialogue with the various agitators, saying the move prompted their coming together under a platform.

It was learnt that the objectives of the group include among other things, the strengthening of the nation’s unity.

Akpabo, who was Akwa Ibom State governor between 2007 and 2015, further hinted that the new executives for the forum had been inaugurated to steer its affairs in the eighth senate.

Chairman of the new group is Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo West) while Lanre Tejuoso (APC, Ogun Central) is his deputy.

Other members of the executive committee include Mathew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), secretary; Adeola Solomon Olamilekan (APC, Lagos West), Treasurer and Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North) who is serving as publicity secretary.

Senators Duro Faseyi (PDP Ekiti North) and Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North) are Auditor and Welfare Officer.

In his acceptance speech, Uzodinma said the forum was poised to play a vital role in strengthening the unity of the country given the widespread agitations nationwide.

The lawmakers from the north had in March last year, inaugurated the Northern Senators Forum with the former governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa West), clinching the chairman position.