- Senator Ali Ndume has vowed not to step down from the race of Senate president
- The senator representing Borno South said he consulted with President Buhari and Ahmed Tinubu before declaring interest
- Ndume also rubbished APC's endorsement of co-contender Ahmed Lawan, saying the party has not supported anybody technically
The senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, has vowed not to step down for any candidate in his quest to be the president of ninth Senate despite the earlier endorsement of Senator Ahmed Lawan by All Progressive Congress (APC).
Speaking with Daily Trust, Ndume, who described the race for the prestigious stool as a "competition, not a fight," said APC has not "technically" endorsed any candidate as Bukola Saraki's successor.
The high-ranking senator also maintained that there is cordial relationship between him and other contenders for the position, adding that whoever emerges will be given maximum support.
He, however, vowed not step down even if President Muhammadu Buhari compels him to do so. According to him, the president is a fair-hearing man who will not interfere in the election of the national lawmakers.
He said: ''I don’t think Mr. President will ask that of me, because he has never interfered in the electoral process. Besides, there’s no reason for me to step down.
''One can only say ‘step down’ if maybe Mr. A is better-qualified than Mr. B. Just like I won’t step down, I wouldn’t want anybody to step down for me.
''Let’s go into election and allow the senators to elect whom they want, that’s all I’m calling for. In fact, I’m totally against imposition, because it’s undemocratic. The chairman of the party who said ‘this is a candidate’ wasn’t imposed on us. So, why should he come to the Senate to do that?''
On APC's endorsement of his co-contender, Ahmed Lawan, the Borno senator insisted that the party has not technically thrown its weight behind any candidate as speculated.
He said Oshiomhole's statement announcing Lawan as the party's preferred candidate was made without consultation and was objected.
Ndume said he sought the opinion of the President Buhari before declaring for the seat and has received his nod to throw the hat into the ring.
He added: "The party, technically, hasn’t decided that it’s Ahmad Lawan, because Adams Oshiomhole is the chairman, and the chairman of the party is not the party. We went to the presidential villa and Oshiomhole said they have recommended Ahmad Lawan after consultation, and we objected.
''The president was supposed to say that, but he declined, and allowed him to say that. The president didn’t say he aligned himself with the position.
''He said ‘you have done the most difficult aspect of it.’ But that’s the party’s position. The party’s position is binding on me to the extent of its legality, not to the extent of depriving me my right or encroaching on the constitution.
''As far as I’m concerned, Oshiomhole erred by narrowing down to a particular person. I consider that as his personal opinion. Before I went into contest, I spoke with Mr. President, and got his blessing.
''I spoke with Tinubu and other elders. I wrote to the party. But up till now, there is nothing from the party asking me not to contest. All the other contestants didn’t write to the party, but I did."
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that ahead of the inauguration of members of the 9th National Assembly, Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, had promised to run a legislature that would promote unity among Nigerians and ensure transparency and accountability.
Speaking at a support-seeking rally for his bid to become the next Senate president, Lawan said he had the requisite legislative experience to run an effective upper parliamentary chamber.
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