- The race for the Senate president position of the ninth National Assembly is getting tougher
- Arewa Youth Consultative Forum's president is of the opinion that Senator Ndume is better qualified for the position than Senator Lawan
- Ndume has vowed not to step down for Lawan who is the choice of the APC
Shetima Yerima, president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), has said Senator Ali Ndume is the most qualified candidate for the position of Senate president in the ninth National Assembly.
In a recent interview with The Independent, Yerima said Ndume is better qualified than Senator Ahmed Lawan, the choice of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said: "By all standards, Senator Ali Ndume is the most qualified, if you look at his resume. I mean by all standards. If you talk about strong character, commitment, experience and also, being independent minded and going by his antecedents, we have seen him demonstrating that over time. Senator Ndume is the best for the country to lead the National Assembly. This is not about me. He is the best for the country.
"I do not have anything personally against Senator Ahmed Lawan. But, the right thing must be done. For somebody to make a pronouncement in a national daily and an international medium that ‘Even if he emerges as the Senate President, if a bill can come forward for the amendment of the Constitution for Buhari to continue for a third term’, that he will pass it, is worrisome. I am very worried about that. You can now see that somebody is just becoming a rubber stamp. That means there will be no independence for the Senate."
On allegations that Ndume is a sponsor of insurgents in Borno state and it may affect his candidacy, Yerima said as fara as he is concerned, the senator has no links with the insurgents. He added that Ndume has been in court and the court has cleared him of that allegation.
He condemned calls by the northwest for position of deputy Senate president. "The north west cannot be asking for deputy Senate president when the President and Commander-In-Chief is from there," he said.
According to him, there should be fairness and equity in electing the leadership of the National Assembly and in so doing, other regions need to be considered, especially the southeast.
Recall that the AYCF rejected the choice of Senator Lawan as Senate president. According to the group, it would turn the Senate into a mere rubber-stamp of a certain southwest politician.
Legit.ng had reported that the group, in a media release obtained by Legit.ng and signed by its national president, Yerima Shettima, on Thursday, April 18, said it would be shameful for the north to "sit back and watch a single southwest politician deciding for the northeast in particular and the north in general".
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