During the Senate’s plenary on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, Akpabio announced two members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abba Moro and Osita Ngwu as the new minority leader and minority whip respectively.
Moro represents Benue South while Ngwu represents the people of Enugu West.
The duo were announced as replacements for former minority leader, Simon Mwadkwon and former minority whip, Darlington Nwokocha, both of whom were recently sacked by the courts.
Reacting to the emergence of Moro and Ngwu as the Senate’s new minority leaders, Nwoye accused Akpabio of imposing leaders on the minority caucus.
Nwoye, who was visibly angry about the development yelled at Akpabio and dared him to suspend him, saying the Senate President had already pushed the minority members to the wall.
Tony Nwoye [Premium Times]
“How can the Senate president choose minority leadership for us every time? Are we your slaves? The way you were elected was the way we were elected. Are we your slaves? You can suspend me here. Are we your slaves, every time you keep on picking leadership for us?
“Whether you like it or not, the way you were elected was the way we were elected. We are not your slaves. You can suspend me, you have done your worst. What do you mean by that? You have done your worst, you have pushed us to the wall,” Nwoye retorted.
Responding to Nwoye’s angry remark, Akpabio said minority members should always clarify issues among themselves before forwarding names to him to announce. He said he can only work with the names sent to him.
“The Senate will always listen to the opinions of members and colleagues, we will always be sensitive to it, but at the same time, next time, make sure that before you bring anything to us to announce, make sure you have put your house in order. The Senate President can only work with evidence before him, In my front, if you have very distinguished Senator Abaribe, (APGA), very ranked, his name is not here. We have Senator Aliero, a very distinguished and ranked senator and his name is not here,” Akpabio said.
He further said if the majority of the minority members support one of them to become their leader, there’s no way he won’t announce the name of the person forwarded to him.