- As the battle for the position of Senate president gets tougher, Senator Ndume has faulted reports that he rebuffed entreaties by VP Osinbajo to step down for Ahmad Lawan
- The Borno lawmaker said he did not rebuff any persuasion from Osinbajo to abandon his ambition in the Senate, because he was never persuaded to do so
- According to the lawmaker, he sought the permission of President Buhari to run for Senate president, long before the 2019 general elections
Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South senatorial district, has said there was no time that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo asked him to drop his ambition to run for Senate president.
He was reacting to rumours that Osinbajo asked him to drop his ambition, but he turned it down, Daily Trust reports.
Ndume, an aspirant for the office of Senate president in the 9th National Assembly, recently met with the vice president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Speaking on his recent visit, the former Senate leader said his meeting with Osinbajo centred on his routine briefing to the vice president on the humanitarian issues in the northeast, specifically, the IDPs issues and situation report on the orphanage, which he said, was dear to the vice president.
In a statement in Abuja on Thursday, April 18, Ndume said: “It was a misinformation. The truth is, it is usual for me to meet with the vice president to discuss issues of common interest, especially the humanitarian crisis in the North East, of which the vice president has shown exceptional interest in helping out.
“I normally go there to brief him on developments in the region, especially the performance of the orphanage scheme which he initiated in Borno that is accommodating over 1,200 orphans; their education and welfare.
“We also discussed general issues that affect the country, as well as the way forward on the humanitarian crisis, especially the IDPs, and not just in Borno State, but also IDPs’ situations all over the country,” he said.
According to him, he sought the permission of President Muhammadu Buhari to run for Senate president, long before the February 23 elections.
“Personally, I’m a committed Buharist. Whether I become the senate president or not, I will continue to stand by him, defend his policies because I see him as a mentor. And I believe that Mr. President has nothing against my aspiration for the office of the Senate president because I sought his permission long before the general elections and he gave me go-ahead. I have not heard anything otherwise from him.
“I believe he will not go against my aspiration because as he said, he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody,” Ndume said.
His party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has endorsed the Senate majority leader, Ahmed Lawan, as Senate president but Ndume is insisting on contesting for the position.
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Ahmed Wambai, the north central national vice chairman of the APC, has said that any member of the party who renege on the decision of the party as regards the choice of the National Assembly leadership would face the consequences of their disloyalty.
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