With the APC endorsing Ahmed Lawan as next Senate President, Sen Ali Ndume is really angry - NATIONAL TRUMPET


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

With the APC endorsing Ahmed Lawan as next Senate President, Sen Ali Ndume is really angry

Senator Ali Ndume is furious that he has been overlooked for the senate presidency job (ChannelsTV)
Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) is disappointed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has endorsed a candidate for the position of Senate President without giving him and other contenders for the office, the opportunity to make a case for themselves.

Pulse had reported that the APC had settled for Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe North) as the next Senate President.

Incumbent Senate President Bukola Saraki (PDP, Kwara Central) won’t be returning to the 9th senate after he lost the senatorial election in his constituency to Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the APC, on February 23, 2019.

Ndume who is eyeing the senate president position, is furious that the APC has overlooked him as the race for who takes over from Saraki, gathers pace.

Ndume can't restrain himself any longer

“First of all, let me say that the decision by the party to settle for an individual instead of zoning the position to a particular geopolitical zone and also consulting or allowing the senators from that zone to decide who among them they prefer as Senate President, is a surprise”, Ndume was quoted as saying by The Nation.

“We were surprised on Monday when National Chairman of our party told us a decision had been taken to adopt Ahmed Lawan as candidate from the North East for the position of the President of the Senate.

“The reason why I am shocked and I am sure that is the feeling of my colleagues, is that the constitutional provision for the emergence of the leadership of the senate is clearly spelt out.
Senator Ahmed Lawan is the APC's candidate for the Senate President position (Punch) Senator Ahmed Lawan is the APC's candidate for the Senate President position (Punch)

“Section 51 (a) of the Constitution says that “there shall be a Senate President and Deputy Senate President who shall be elected by members of the House.

“Section 1 of the Constitution clearly states that “this Constitution is binding on all Nigerians and government agencies.

“It went further to say that any other law that contravenes the provision of the constitution is null and void”.

Shutting out voices

Ndume said during a meeting with President Buhari and the APC leadership, other contenders for the senate president position were not allowed to utter a word.

“As a party that is supposed to be democratic and as a government that insists on allowing due process to prevail, this is strange. A candidate of APC normally emerges by one of three means, namely- consensus, indirect elections and direct primaries.

“As I said, such a decision was taken and we were not given the chance to ask questions. We were not allowed to make comments.

“The president made his remarks and after that, the national anthem was recited.

“Even the chosen candidate was not given the chance to thank us or say something about it. Those of us that have indicated interests were not consulted or given the chance to make any comments.

“I left there with that shock but I slept well notwithstanding. I am one among equal. I am just one among 109 senators. I am not better than them, except for Lawan. I came back and slept well.

“My wife and children were worried about my feelings. I was even late for the prayers in the morning.
L-R: Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan; Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari; Senate President Bukola Saraki; Senator Danjuma Goje; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara (Senate President office)

“I try my best in everything I do and I leave the rest to God. I am now leaving this to God and those who elected me. I am going home to consult with elders who gathered themselves and asked me to contest. I will consult with them and then take a final decision.

“The party has taken a decision. I ultimately wait on the decision of Almighty God and my colleagues. That is what I will say for now.”
Ndume has a plan up its sleeves

Asked to shed some light on what he meant by waiting for his colleagues to decide his fate, Ndume said: “You should not be confused. The constitution is clear. It says the Senate shall elect its president and deputy.

“Like I said, my decision to contest for the position of the senate president is not personal. Even my colleagues encouraged me to run. Not just the elected ones. They said I should vie for the position. Even then, the party didn’t say it had elected Ahmad Lawan. It only said it has nominated Lawan.

“The way the leadership of the national assembly should emerge is clearly stated. Anything contrary to that means it is illegal and it can’t stand. As I said, we wait on God.

“I am not the one saying this. It is the decision of my colleagues. I am one of those offering himself to contest for the position. I can’t even nominate myself. Someone has to nominate and second me. I can’t say that a candidate has been imposed on us. The decision is now left for my colleagues. If you look at the history of the National Assembly, such decisions have never gone down well.

President Buhari pays surprise visit to the APC Situation Room during the just ended presidential election (APC media) President Buhari pays surprise visit to the APC Situation Room during the just ended presidential election (APC media)
“In 1999, Evan Ewerem was imposed. He didn’t last. Wabara was also imposed. It didn’t last. After that, the PDP we have accused of impunity didn’t do this.

“In 2007, the PDP showed wisdom by zoning the position to North Central. That was what led to the contest between David Mark and George Akume. Because that happened, Mark served for two terms. Mark would have served for another term if PDP had won. He served his tenure peacefully”.

The decision of the APC to endorse Lawan for the senate president position in 2015 came back to haunt the governing party, after Saraki defied his party’s orders and connived with PDP senators to get himself the plum job.

Saraki would later defect to the PDP after battling corruption allegations at the courts for months. All plans by the APC to have him impeached after his defection, proved unsuccessful.


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