FORMER Majority Leader of the Nigerian Senate, Ali Ndume, has kicked off his campaign for the position of Senate President by unveiling what he described as his nine-point agenda if he wins.
This is in spite of the position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that its candidate for the number three position in the country is Ahmed Lawan, who is the current Senate Majority Leader. Both Ndume and Lawan are members of the APC and both hail from the North East region of the country.
In the document where he listed his agenda, Ndume pledged to reduce the unnecessary privileges attached to the office of the senate president, thereby making it less attractive. He also said he would prioritise the completion and passage of the constituency development bill so that constituency projects would be more transparent and efficient.
“We will make laws that will block leakages, (and) devise improved means of generating revenue, especially through the amendment and review of our tax laws which will help to reduce reliance on local and foreign loans to finance budget,” the document read.
“We will run the 9th Senate transparently, through open accountability with full participation of all senators.
“For example, we will transfer the approving powers of the privileges of the senators like foreign travels, allowances to Senate services committee or a new committee to be known as “ways and means committee.”
Despite apparently going against his party’s directive by contesting the Senate president position, Ndume stated in his campaign document that if he emerges victorious, his leadership of the Senate would uphold the principles and policies of the APC, and that activities of the upper legislative chamber would be in agreement with the ‘Next Leve’ agenda of the second tenure of the President Muhammadu Buhari presidency.
Recall that shortly after the announcement of Lawan as the favoured candidate for the Senate presidency by the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Ndume expressed his disappointment over such “imposition” of a candidate without recourse or consultation to other members of the party who may be aspiring for the same position.
“Even among children of the same age group, they usually choose from among themselves who would be their leader, much less the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Ndume said during a chat with newsmen shortly after Lawan’s endorsement.
The APC leadership had also ‘anointed’ Femi Gbajabiamila to become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives.