The issue of who becomes the next Senate President in the incoming 9th Assembly has been in the news with some political gladiators especially in the ruling party said to be interested in the top job although the National Leadership of the party has not made any decision public about the issue of who the consensus candidate for the post and other posts are.
Meanwhile, Tribune Online findings revealed that in the race for the position of Senate President are Senators Ali Ndume, Ahmed Lawan and Danjuma Goje from Borno, Yobe and Gombe states, respectively, all in the Northeast geopolitical zone.
Yet, more intrigues have trailed the race for the top senate position as some senators-elect of the ruling party have refused to openly announce their intentions to run for the Senate President position. The reason may not be unrelated to the fact that some of the potential aspirants may want to know the position of the party first.
However, Ambassador Dauda Danladi, who spoke on behalf of the APC chieftains from Borno state claimed that the former Senate Majority Leader was the most qualified for the position, as he recalled his previous experiences in both chambers of the national assembly and his enormous contributions as a loyal party man. He said:” There is no doubt that the 9th National Assembly has a critical role to play if the government is to actualise all its developmental projects, programs and policies that will propel Nigeria into the industrialized world in the near future.”
“Hence a cooperative partnership driven National Assembly that will support, encourage and work with the executive to accelerate the achievement of socio-economic objectives of the government cannot be overemphasized.”
Consequently, Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) in Borno state has called on senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Senator Ali Ndume to seek for the exalted office of the Senate President ahead of the inauguration of the 9th Assembly.The APC chieftains operating under the platform of Concerned Borno citizens made the call at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Nigerian Tribune reports.
He added: “It is in this regard that we the concerned citizens of Borno are coming forward to urge Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to contest for the office of the President of the Senate in the 9th National Assembly. We are convinced that Senator Ndume possesses all the qualities and requirements to hold the office of the Senate President being a loyal party man and a ranking Senator. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 and 2007 and held the position of a Minority Leader of the House of Representatives from 20072011, he has been in the Senate since 2011 representing Borno South Senatorial District with distinction.
“Senator Ndume emerged as the Senate Leader in 2015 and was removed in a controversial circumstance in January 2017 ostensibly for his defence of party policies and for being a loyalist to the Government. His stint as a Lawmaker in both chambers of the National Assembly from 2003 to date is there to speak for themselves, where he stood firm in the cause of his people and contributed immensely in debates and passages of people-oriented bills and motions.” The Concerned Borno Citizens who appealed to Senator Ndume to throw his hat into the ring further submitted that having one of them as the third citizen in the country would fast track the reconstruction of the insurgency-ravaged Northeast zone, particularly Borno state.
“Our plea for the Senator to seek for the office of the President of the Senate is premised on the fact that the North/East geo-political zone where he hails from gave the President the second highest vote cast. This is in addition to the fact that the region has been ravaged by insurgency from 2009 until the coming of this administration in 2015. Borno State being the epicentre of the crisis deserves serious attention. The office of the President of the Senate will, therefore, offer the state a good opportunity to fast track reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of millions of displaced persons. It will also be apt to add that Borno state has the highest percentage of 92 per cent of votes cast for President Buhari in the just concluded 2019 election.
“We, therefore, call on distinguished Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to contest for the office of the President of the Senate in the 9th NationaI Assembly, while soliciting for the support of all Senators-elect and other well-meaning Nigerians to support this noble aspiration. ”
Asked by newsmen to confirm if the aspiration of Senator Ndume enjoys the support of the Borno state governor, Kashim Shetttima who equally would be in the 9th Assembly, Alhaji Umar Kareto Lawal who responded told journalists that the Borno state governor has not taken a position but would ultimately endorse Senator Ali Ndume for the office. “I can’t say categorically that he has endorsed but he is the subject of the people. We shall appeal to him to endorse. They are close friend and very close political allies. I can tell you that Governor Kashim Shetttima would back Ndume.”
All eyes are still on the ruling party as a whole to come up with the consensus candidates for the various principal offices in the National Assembly ahead of the elections coming up soon. Being in control of the majority in both chambers of the National Assembly, the ruling APC calls the shots on how the various positions of principal officers would be filled.
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