Exclusive: Tinubu, Oshiomhole behind move to foist Ahmed Lawan on us as Senate president - Turaki

Exclusive: Tinubu, Oshiomhole behind move to foist Ahmed Lawan on us as Senate president - Turaki

- Turaki Abubakar says all northern youth and emirs support Ali Ndume as the next Senate president

- Abubakar accuses Adams Oshiomhole and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as those planning to foist Ahmed Lawan on Nigerians because of alleged selfish interests

- The NYF leader gives reasons why Ali Ndume is better than Ahmed Lawan as the president of the Senate

Legit.ng monitored a recent meeting of the various bodies that constitute northern youths and leaders of thought at the Arewa House in Kaduna where the current tussle for the leadership of the Senate was discussed. In this exclusive phone interview with Turaki Abubakar of the Northern Youth Forum (NYF) for National Development, he tells Eromosele Ebhomele why emirs in the region prefer Ali Ndume to Ahmed Lawan, who was endorsed by the APC, Adams Oshiomhole and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

Ali Ndume, like Lawan, is from the north east. So don't you think the APC has a special reason for preferring Lawan to Ndume?

That is the decision of the APC, but to tell you the fact, the youth, elders and all the royal fathers in the north are collectively in support of Senator Ali Ndume. We all know and believe that Ndume has more experience than Lawan in the National Assembly. Secondly, it is not hidden that Ndume has sponsored many bills, especially in favour of the north east that has been ravaged by Book Haram. One of such is the north east development commission bill equivalent to the Niger Delta development agenda of the government which resulted in the Niger Delta ministry and the NDDC. That bill shows that those who were rendered homeless and every other victim of the various attacks would be taken care of by the government.

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Ndume was a member of the House of Representatives for some years before he joined the Senate. He has held various positions in the National Assembly thus making him the best candidate for the seat of the Senate president. Apart from from the experience, he has the courage, capability and capacity to handle the affairs of the legislature and indirectly, that of the country working with the executive. So he is more competent and more acceptable to us as well as a lot of his colleagues. It is only a few people like Bola Tinubu and his likes who are bent on what should come to their personal ambitions that are against Ndume. They are supporting Lawan for their selfish interests. But we just had a meeting at the Arewa House in Kaduna and and we have unanimously agreed that we are collectively going to support Ali Ndume.

You just said the youth in the north and emirs are in support of Ndume. But the challenge is that it is not these people, but his colleagues who will vote for him when it is time. Have you factored this into consideration?

Thank God that majority of his colleagues, regardless of party affiliations, are behind him. He has the majority in the Senate. As at today, if the election is conducted free and fair and without intimidation, Ali Ndume will win fair and square. I am assuring you that and also telling you that as at today, he has no problem with any member or President Muhammadu Buhari. He is only been opposed by those supporting Lawan for their selfish interests. I am confident enough telling you this.

The APC held a meeting some days ago where Lawan was endorsed for the Senate presidency. Does that not put a hitch to the ambition of Ndume?

The decision of the APC and its endorsement of Lawan will not hold or stop anything. It is simply the handiwork of Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the party. Let me tell you something; the current Senate president, Bukola Saraki, was not initially meant to the in the position. But he emerged. This was same with Aminu Tambuwal, now governor of Sokoto, and Yakubu Dogara. But they emerged. God made it happen. I have no doubt whatsoever, that Ndume will be the next Senate president.

Tinubu and Oshiomhole will soon gradually begin to change their minds when they see the massive support people have for Ndume. They will soon join him by God's grace. We have to listen to God rather than seek to impose candidates.

The APC does not trust Ndume. There is the belief that Ndume would reenact the experience the executive had with Buhari...

Why do you think he would not be loyal? This man we are talking about has been a loyal party member since he joined. Remember he faced serious problems for challenging Bukola Saraki because of the issue the Senate president had with the APC and Buhari's government. As a result of loyalty he has for the APC, he has not been in good terms with Saraki. The party is also supposed to recognise and consider this. If APC should continue with this dictatorship, it would be carving a path for its own end. I am not praying that the APC should be destroyed, but I am only saying we should end the era of dictatorship and allow senators and House of Representatives members to pick their leaders devoid of undue interference by the party. We are all advising the National chairman of the APC and the party's national leader, Tinubu, to stay off and allow the lawmakers elect whoever they want. It would bring peace and unity.

Abubakar Turaki of the northern youth forum for national development

Ali Ndume, like Lawan, is from the north east. So don't you think the APC has a special reason for preferring Lawan to Ndume?

That is the decision of the APC, but to tell you the fact, the youth, elders and all the royal fathers in the north are collectively in support of Senator Ali Ndume. We all know and believe that Ndume has more experience than Lawan in the National Assembly. Secondly, it is not hidden that Ndume has sponsored many bills, especially in favour of the north east that has been ravaged by Book Haram. One of such is the north east development commission bill equivalent to the Niger Delta development agenda of the government which resulted in the Niger Delta ministry and the NDDC. That bill shows that those who were rendered homeless and every other victim of the various attacks would be taken care of by the government.

Ndume was a member of the House of Representatives for some years before he joined the Senate. He has held various positions in the National Assembly thus making him the best candidate for the seat of the Senate president. Apart from from the experience, he has the courage, capability and capacity to handle the affairs of the legislature and indirectly, that of the country working with the executive. So he is more competent and more acceptable to us as well as a lot of his colleagues. It is only a few people like Bola Tinubu and his likes who are bent on what should come to their personal ambitions that are against Ndume. They are supporting Lawan for their selfish interests. But we just had a meeting at the Arewa House in Kaduna and and we have unanimously agreed that we are collectively going to support Ali Ndume.

You just said the youth in the north and emirs are in support of Ndume. But the challenge is that it is not these people, but his colleagues who will vote for him when it is time. Have you factored this into consideration?

Thank God that majority of his colleagues, regardless of party affiliations, are behind him. He has the majority in the Senate. As at today, if the election is conducted free and fair and without intimidation, Ali Ndume will win fair and square. I am assuring you that and also telling you that as at today, he has no problem with any member or President Muhammadu Buhari. He is only been opposed by those supporting Lawan for their selfish interests. I am confident enough telling you this.

The APC held a meeting some days ago where Lawan was endorsed for the Senate presidency. Does that not put a hitch to the ambition of Ndume?

The decision of the APC and its endorsement of Lawan will not hold or stop anything. It is simply the handiwork of Tinubu and Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the party. Let me tell you something; the current Senate president, Bukola Saraki, was not initially meant to the in the position. But he emerged. This was same with Aminu Tambuwal, now governor of Sokoto, and Yakubu Dogara. But they emerged. God made it happen. I have no doubt whatsoever, that Ndume will be the next Senate president.

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Tinubu and Oshiomhole will soon gradually begin to change their minds when they see the massive support people have for Ndume. They will soon join him by God's grace. We have to listen to God rather than seek to impose candidates.

The APC does not trust Ndume. There is the belief that Ndume would reenact the experience the executive had with Buhari...

Why do you think he would not be loyal? This man we are talking about has been a loyal party member since he joined. Remember he faced serious problems for challenging Bukola Saraki because of the issue the Senate president had with the APC and Buhari's government. As a result of loyalty he has for the APC, he has not been in good terms with Saraki. The party is also supposed to recognise and consider this. If APC should continue with this dictatorship, it would be carving a path for its own end. I am not praying that the APC should be destroyed, but I am only saying we should end the era of dictatorship and allow senators and House of Representatives members to pick their leaders devoid of undue interference by the party. We are all advising the National chairman of the APC and the party's national leader, Tinubu, to stay off and allow the lawmakers elect whoever they want. It would bring peace and unity.

Legit.ng earlier reported that a political group, Sustainable Democracy Agenda (SUDA), called for open balloting during the election of presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly.

Convener of the group, Malam Ibrahim Usman, stated this in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday, April 21 in Abuja.

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