Northern group vows to reject Lawan as Senate president, accuses Tinubu, El-Rufai

Northern group vows to reject Lawan as Senate president, accuses Tinubu, El-Rufai

- The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) says Tinubu, El-Rufai supporting Ahmed Lawan as Senate president in pursuit of their own 2023 ambitions

- The AYCF adds that it already predicted that Senator Danjuma Goje would be forced to step down, especially with his alleged case at the EFCC

- The group, led by Yerima Shettima, wants Nigerians to support Ali Ndume, saying the Senator has shown he can ensure the principles of checks and balances

Ahead of the inauguration of the ninth National Assembly, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) on Sunday, June 9, accused Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governor Nasir El-Rufai of selling Ahmed Lawan to Nigerians as next Senate president because of their ambitions.

Asiwaju Tinubu is the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) while El-Rufai is the governor of Kaduna state.

The AYCF, through its national president, Yerima Shettima, said it had known that Danjuma Goje would be pressured to step down owing to the case he allegedly has with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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According to AYCF, Nigeria can only make progress in the next four years if Ali Ndume becomes the next Senate president since the country is in serious need of someone who would ensure the effective principle of separation of powers and checks and balances.

Read AYCF’s full statement below:

We are happy to inform all Nigerian progressives that we have been vindicated in all the public declarations we made recently on the contentious seat of the Senate presidency. Recall that we declared as follows:

1. Candidate Senator Ahmed Lawan was a push-over by Chief Bola Tinubu, to help him emerge President in 2023 and that Senator Danjum Goje has cases of corruption before the EFCC.

2. We rightly predicted that Senator Goje would likely step down for Senator Lawan in the contest for the Senate presidency because he might be beaten into submission using the pending EFCC cases. We also declared that he could alternatively be forced to step down from the race in exchange for his freedom from EFCC's hot chase.

3. It is obvious that the desperation to make the road to Senate Presidency smooth for Tinubu's acolyte (Sen Lawan) Buhari's foot-soldiers, especially Governor Nasir El-Rufai are coming up with a new narrative to pull a blind wool over our eyes. The Kaduna governor is trying to sell a dummy to Nigerians, that the attorney-general of the federation has done the needful regarding Goje's case with the EFCC. And we ask: Which attorney-general, when all ministers have since resigned? What is the meaning of taking a case that was under investigation by an independent body, to an attorney-general who is not the judge in the court handling the Senator Goje case? These are questions begging for answers and we are tempted to assume that the EFCC is about to be hindered from continuing with the case because Chief Tinubu, who has been pushing Buhari harder, has vested interest to do with his 2023 presidential ambition.

4. In view of this clear case of 2023 desperation, intimidation and blackmail, we have now been vindicated that the best man for the next Senate presidency is Senator Ali Ndume. He has remained uncompromising, unwilling to dance to the tune of the new 2023 gang-up. Ndume's bold stance in this climate of political fire has been a very rare one. We see the desperation in the use on intimidation of senators to fall into the booby trap. Let the world know that we, in the AYCF are watching very closely and we will democratically resist this imposition in broad daylight.

5. It is now abundantly clear that only Senator Ali Ndume is capable of preserving the independence of the Senate under the 'Next Level' mantra.

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We will therefore continue to resist the imposition of anyone's lackey on Nigerian voters in the 9th Senate. We are more than ever ready to use all constitutional and legitimate means to promote and preserve the integrity and independence of the Senate by ensuring that the next Senate president represents the dreams and aspirations of all Nigerians.

We say a big no to impunity, selective anti-corruption war guided by political convenience. That era is since gone and we will strive to prove that Nigeria is not 'Banana Republic' but a full-blown democratic nation and the pride of Africa.

We advise the Tinubus and El-Rufais of this world to shove aside any desperate move on 2023 and allow a level-playing field for all political offices. No one should hide behind any political party to turn Nigerians into mere manipulable pawn. That will be undemocratic imposition and totally unacceptable. earlier reported that Ahmed Lawan, recently stated that when he becomes the next Senate president, he would not be rubber-stamp and an appendage of the executive arm of government.

Lawan made the comment on Friday, June 7, in Abuja, as he unveiled his 20-page agenda titled “A National Assembly that Works for Nigeria: Proposed Legislative Agenda for the 9th Senate.”

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