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Akpabio on Fire for Hosting Muslim Iftar On Easter Monday

President of the Nigerian Senate, Godswill Akpabio incurred the anger of the Christian Association of Nigerian , CAN and some of his colleagues for hosting Muslim Ramadan Iftar on the same day as the Christians are celebrating Easter Monday to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

 

Faulting Akpabio’s event, a member of CAN James Ahmed described the Senate President’s move as irresponsible, hypocritical and ill timed saying that it disrespectful to both religions.

 

Speaking angrily via telephone chat from Lafia , James said that hosting an Islamic event on the same day in which Christians were celebrating their own showed how irresponsible Akpabio is.

 

 

Contrastingly, the clergy also lampooned Akpabio stressing that the event was also inconvenient to the Muslim Lawmakers as most of them had traveled out of the country to observe the 2024 Ramadan Umrah in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

The Senate President had sent out invites to the 109 Senators to attend the Iftar fast-breaking evening meal of Muslims at his Maitama official guest House in Abuja.

 

 

Faulting Akpabio further James stated that such a function ought to have been held within 3 days of the commencement of the Ramadan fast, adding that it is useless to host such an event when the Muslims have less than 10 days to conclude their fasting.

 

 

Journalists who were invited to cover the Iftar ceremony disclosed that Iftar was poorly attended with about 14 Senators in attendance out of the 109 Lawmakers.

 

James carpeted Akpabio;

 

“It is very irresponsible for Akpabio to call for Ramadan fast break during Easter Monday, he could have done it 3 days to the beginning of Ramadan fast. It makes no sense to hold such an event on the day that Christian are celebrating Easter Monday”.

“Those that advised him to host Iftar today are ignorant , it’s an insult to the Christians and Muslims. The Senators that went are not up to 14, that attended, it’s the wrong timing. Many Muslim Senators are not around and many have traveled for Umrah while others are engaged.

 

 

Though reasons behind the poor attendance could not be ascertained, findings revealed that some Lawmakers asked to be excused from the function.

 

 

Similarly, Lawmakers who attended complained that the event wasn’t necessary, asking not be named a North Central Senator said that Akpabio had sinister motives as the ceremony was disrespectful to both religions.

 

 

The latest criticism of Akpabio comes amid the lingering crisis in the Senate between loyalists of the President of the Red Chamber, Godswill Akpabio and Northern lawmakers shifted to governors and other political leaders from the North.

 

 

The crisis which led to the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi from Bauchi Central Senatorial District, started weeks before the emergence of Akpabio as President of the 10th Senate in 2023

 

 

According to reports Almost three weeks after the suspension of Ningi for granting an interview with the BBC Hausa Service where he made some startling revelations.

 

He had claimed that Tinubu was operating two national budgets, one approved by the National Assembly, and the other unknown to the Parliament.

 

It was gathered that ranking senators from the North and some governors, have now stepped in to mediate and resolve the lingering crisis in the upper legislative chamber.

 

A senator from the North West who is one the key facilitators of the peace move, told reporters in confidence that the issues would have been resolved without suspending Ningi if the three lawmakers from South West, Bamidele, Olamilekan and Ibrahim had not mounted pressure on Akpabio to act.

 

The lawmaker said some governors who were worried about the ethnic dimensions of the crisis, reached out to Akpabio to apply caution and recall Ningi, who they said has the backing of leading politicians from the North.

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Emeh James Anyalekwa, is a Seasoned Journalist, scriptwriter, Movie producer/Director and Showbiz consultant. He is the founder and CEO of the multi Media conglomerate, CANDY VILLE, specializing in Entertainment, Events, Prints and Productions. He is currently a Special Assistant (Media) to the Former Governor of Abia State and Chairman Slok Group, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu. Anyalekwa is also the National President, Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) https://web.facebook.com/emehjames

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