Tunde Opalana, Abuja
Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume representing Borno South Senatorial District has flayed the Adams Oshiomhole leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for adopting Senator Ahmed Lawan as the party’s candidate for the position of Senate President in the 9th Senate.
Ndume who was shocked by the party’s decision as announced by its chairman Adams Oshiomhole at a dinner meeting of APC National Working Committee, National Assembly members elects and President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Monday night said “I was shocked because the constitutional provision of Section 60(1)(a) on the emergence of the Senate President is clear.
” It says that the Senate President and Deputy Senate President shall be elected by members and it says the law is binding on everybody including the party”.
Ndume said the 109 Senators should choose among themselves their leaders either by consensus, indirect election or direct election.
He therefore berated the party’s decision saying “as a party that should be operating on principle of internal democracy and as a government always proclaim due process, the decision is very wrong”.
According to him, zoning arrangement was not stipulated in the Constitution, but it enhances fairness, justice and equity but settling for an individual was not the proper thing for the party to have done. He said the decision of the party is illegal.
He said ” even if the party have zoned the Senate Presidency to the North East, it should have allowed Senators from the zone to produce one of the them. We were supposed to be given the honour as Senators from the North East to choose the Senate President among ourselves .
“I was not given a chance as a party loyalist and as someone that love President Muhammadu Buhari.
” The party did not even contact us having made known our interest in the race, they did not appeal to us to drop our ambition for Senator Lawan.
“The party chairman just made the pronouncement. We were not given chance to make comment or ask questions and even Lawan the chosen candidate was not given the chance to thank us his colleagues who are in the race.
Ndume said “I believe the decision was not that of the party but that of Adams Oshiomhole.
” What happened on Monday night has even worsened the selective process. The Senate as an institution should be Independent and nobody or party should impose candidate on the Senate.
“The Senate President should be truly Senate President and not Senators President. In a senate of 109 members, the kingmakers should be the senators. It is not fair someone to appoint a leader for leaders”.
Senator Ndume said it has been his dream to become Senate President considering his years of parliamentary experience and that he notified the necessary quarters of his ambition including President Buhari and Senator Bola Tinubu.
He said President Buhari gave him his blessing while Tinubu told him he came late because he (Tinubu) has promised his support for Lawan.
” My decision to contest is not personal. My colleagues both outgoing and newly elected encouraged me to vie for the position. Also, the Concerned Elders of Borno backed my candidacy. They even held a press conference when I was out of the country to urge me to contest
“The decision of my colleagues is that this situation of imposition will backfire”, he said
Citing failure of imposition in previous Senate, Ndume said ” in 1999 Enwerem was imposed and it did not last. Wabara was imposed and it did not last. But after two mistakes, the PDP retracked its steps and started zoning formula and peace started reigning in the party”
On the effect of the news on him, he said ‘I came home shocked but slept well. My wife and my children were worried about the development.
Speaking on his line of action, Ndume said “I am leaving this to God and my people that elected me especially the Concerned Elders of Borno that asked me to run for the position of Senate President.
” II will soon be on the way to the airport. I am going home (Borno) to meet with my people for further decision
As an interested party in the race for Senate Presidency seat, he said he has no personal grudge against Lawan but want a thorough process and due process to be involved in choosing the Senate President and other offices
“It is God that decide who he gives power to. In Islam, God says he gives power to who he wants, when he wants and how he wants”, he concluded.