The Southern Senators Forum on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, re-emerged at the Senate after being in oblivion for some years. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the forum’s activity was last noticed 2006 and 2007 during the tenure of Ken Nnamani as President of the Senate. It had Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman
Announcing the revival of the forum after its meeting at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, said that it was inevitable that the group existed. He said that as lawmakers, they must get closer to the grassroots in order to provide them with the basic needs of life.
“We must ensure that we take decisions that will enable us to get closer to our people as we provide a shoulder they can lean on,” the former Akwa Ibom governor said.
“We are alive to our responsibilities. It is not just to pass Bills. We will take on topical issues that will alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians like security and creation of employment. We will make Nigeria one,” Akpabio said.
According to him, there has always been the Northern Senators Forum while the Southern Senators Forum has just re-emerged in the 8th Senate. “When they take decisions from the North, we will also take decisions from the South and from there we have a united voice in order to consolidate on the unity of the country,” he said.
Akpabio announced that Sen. Hope Uzodinma (PDP-Imo) was the chairperson of the forum, with Lanre Tejuosho as vice chairman.
Other members in the executive committee of the group are Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP-Abia), publicity secretary; Sen. Duro Fasheyi is the auditor. The only female member of the committee, Sen. Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra), is the welfare officer.
In his remarks, Chairperson of the group, Uzodinma, said that the Southern Senators caucus would play vital role in strengthening the unity of Nigeria “going by the recent agitation by various sectional groups across the country”