- Senator Ndume has said that APC leaders are using President Buhari’s name to frustrate his ambition
- Ndume noted that he consulted widely before he made his intention to vie for Senate president known
- The lawmaker, however, said that he would become Senate president not senators' president in the 9th National Assembly
Former Senate majority leader, Senator Ali Ndume, has accused the leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of merely using President Muhammadu Buahri to frustrate his ambition to become Senate president in the 9th National Assembly.
Nigerian Tribune reports that Ndume said the National Assembly is drifting from what it is supposed to be. ccording to him, the institution, especially the Senate, is supposed to be a stabilising institution of the Nigerian polity.
Legit.ng gathered that he said he consulted President Buhari and the leaders of the party when he decided to contest for the position of Senate president, adding that the national leader of the party and other stakeholders gave him their blessings.
He said: "We are 65 senators-elect on the platform of the APC and Mr President is a father to all of us. Also, constitutionally, all of us are qualified to vie or aspire for the position of Senate president. The other rules that are used to reduce the number of aspirants, like zoning, is a party arrangement; it is not constitutional.
"You will recall that even when the party zoned its presidential ticket for the 2015 elections to the North, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, who is from the south, contested the primaries because it is his constitutional right.
"The president I know has never interfered in the electoral process and I am not expecting him to come out to say that he is supporting any person. So, I am comfortable that I have informed leaders of my party about my ambition and I have not heard otherwise from even the party itself."
Senator Ndume, however, said with the new development, the 9th National Assembly would have senator's president instead of Senate president.
He said: "The way it is now, we tend to have a senators’ president instead of a Senate president. My aspiration is to be a Senate president, not a senators’ president. That is what the constitution provides for."
Ndume said he is in the race for Senate president to partner with his colleagues to bring back the Senate as an institution that is independent, but work inter-dependently with the executive without compromising constitutional provisions as provided for in the constitution.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the candidature of Senator Ali Ndume for the presidency of the 9th Senate, on Sunday, May 5, got the blessings of northeast elders and stakeholders forum.
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