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Oshiomhole, not Buhari fronting Lawan for Senate President, says Ali Ndume
FORMER Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, has expressed his displeasure at the endorsement of Ahmed Lawan for the position of Senate President in the soon-to-be-formed ninth Senate by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
There have been reports that President Muhammadu Buhari and Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the APC, are favourably disposed to Lawan becoming the next Senate President, but Ndume said it was Oshiomhole, not Buhari that is fronting Lawan for the position.
According to him, Buhari knows that he (Ndume) is also interested in the position and that he gave him the go-ahead to contest.
“It was Adams Oshiomhole that said that Ahmad Lawan should be our next Senate President. I don’t believe that that is truly the position of Mr President,” Ndume said.
“Before I went into this contest, I consulted with Mr President and he gave me the go-ahead. I consulted with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and he also gave me the go-ahead immediately after the primaries.”
Ndume said he was shocked at the endorsement of Lawan as the preferred candidate for the position of Senate President, adding that he would consult with his northern colleagues before deciding the next step to take.
“I am surprised that the decision was taken and we were not given the chance to ask questions or make comments. The President was called upon to make his remarks and after that we sang the National Anthem.
“Even the chosen candidate was not given the chance to thank us or to say something about it. Those of us that are interested in contesting the position were not even consulted. I left the venue in shock.
“If this is God’s decision, it will last, if it is not, God will take His own decision. I have a vision for the Senate because the Senate has drifted and is drifting to a position where it will not be able to serve its purpose.”
Again in an interview which was aired on Wednesday by the Africa Independent Television (AIT), Ndume said that the least the party leadership could have done was to invite him, knowing fully well that he wants to contest for the position, and gently explain to him why he should stand down.
A replay of 2015?
The current situation in the APC is similar to the events of 2015 which culminated in the present Senate President, Bukla Saraki, entering into a power-sharing agreement with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in order to realise his ambition.
The APC had endorsed Lawan for the position of Senate President, but Saraki pulled the rug off the party’s feet by joining ranks with the opposition.
While the APC lawmakers caucus were at the International Conference Centre (ICC) for a supposed meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the clerk of the Senate, Salisu Maikasuwa, declared the inauguration process open and called for nominations for the post of Senate President. Thus, Saraki was nominated and returned elected unopposed.