As the tussle for the 9th Senate presidency between Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) and Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) rages, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State and elders of the state, Monday, are torn on who to support.
While Borno elders and stakeholders threw their weight behind former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, Governor Shettima dumped his kinsman, Ndume, and endorsed Ahmad Lawan.
Speaking through their spokesman, Alhaji Yakubu Umar, in reaction to the All Progressives Congress, APC, reported endorsement of Senator Ahmad Lawan, the elders said President Muhammadu Buhari had last December backed Ndume for the job.
Meantime, an associate of Ndume told Vanguard that regardless of pressure from party leaders that the senator would not step down for Lawan. Rather, he prefers to contest and lose on the floor of the Senate than stepping down.
”Ndume would prefer to be defeated after the voting process instead of stepping down for Lawan,” the associate said, adding Ndume has the required number among the Senators to become the next Senate President.
The Borno elders’ spokesman told President Buhari to ensure he does not suffer further sabotage by allowing the wrong person to be elected the 9th senate president, adding that the President should personally subject antecedents of Senators Ndume and Lawan to scrutiny to determine who is more loyal, experienced or qualified to be senate president.
In terms of lawmaking administrative experience, they said that Ndume was first a Minority Leader in the House of Representatives and later Majority Leader before Lawan.
According to the group, Ndume was punished and removed as senate leader because he was seen to be too close to presidency; just as he was suspended from plenary for defending President Buhari’s policy, adding that Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki replaced Ndume with Lawan who he considered as a willing partner, and under whom the presidency began to suffer sabotage.
The group noted that Ndume would be a more competent senate president because while he was a senate leader, he had the highest number of bills passed and also topped the chart of bills sponsorship with 64 bills.
They said that records also show that no bill passed was denied assent by the president, but under Lawan more bills passed were rejected, adding, “This is because it is the responsibility of the senate leader to liaise with the Senate and Mr President, perhaps this was not taken seriously.
”Senate leader is the one who markets executive bill to the senate and carries out any improvement such bill requires to be accepted by the senate. This is the function Lawan failed to achieve.”
According to Umar, Senator Ndume is undoubtedly the senator who sacrificed the most in the defence of his party’s interest and policy in the 8th senate and that he lost his senate leadership position in the defence of President Buhari administration, just as he went on 90 legislative-day suspension in the bid to shield the presidency from ridicule.
He continued: ”Before we decided to throw our support for Ndume to contest for the 9th senate President’s position if it was zoned to the North-East geopolitical zone, we the Borno elders on the platform of Concerned Borno Citizens asked our son whether he conferred with President Buhari, the ultimate leader of the ruling party, of his intention.
”Ndume told us that he did that shortly after he won his primary election to contest for Borno South senatorial district under the APC. President Buhari, our son said, endorsed him. Borno state gave President Buhari and the party over 90 per cent of the votes during the presidential election. There were over 300,000 votes from Ndume’s senatorial district alone. President Buhari won in the entire six states of the South-West by just 200,000 votes, which is far less than what Ndume’s constituency recorded.
”It begs some imagination that the only House Assembly seat out of the 24 seats in Yobe State lost by APC to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was under Senator Lawan’s Yobe North constituency. Lawan Sani of the PDP scored 19,793 to defeat the incumbent member, Shuaibu Usman of APC that scored 11,395.
‘’This was just as the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole failed to deliver his Edo State on all grounds, with the opposition gaining more grounds day after the other in his state.
“President Buhari should please revisit the promise he made shortly before the 2019 presidential election that he would reward those that work hard for his re-election bid. Ndume was appointed APC, Presidential Campaign Council North-East Zonal Director and has so much to show for it.”