Borno senator Ali Ndume sees the next senate as his chance to fulfill his ambition of becoming senate president. The former senate majority leader made an unsuccessful run for the seat four years ago. His chances this time hit a bump this week following the endorsement of Ahmed Lawan, a Yobe senator, by the chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomhole.
- Be smart: Lawan was also the party’s preferred choice in 2015, but a political maneuver by Bukola Saraki, saw him defeat the party’s favorite to emerge senate president.
Ndume described Oshiomhole’s endorsement of his rival as unconstitutional but it is unclear which laws were broken by the endorsement.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Ndume said the choice of Lawan was unpopular, and unilaterally carried out by Oshiomhole. He claimed that both President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, “gave me their consent when I approached them for their blessings over his ambition to contest the Senate presidency.”
Quote: “All my colleagues at the occasion yesterday (Monday) were shocked when Adams Oshiomhole unilaterally announced his decision to endorse Lawan as candidate of the party. It is an unpopular decision because I am sure that President Buhari and other leaders of the party are not in support of that action. None of the stakeholders was also consulted.”
Next step for him: He said he would consult the leaders of the party in the North East and his colleagues who are supporting his aspiration, before taking a final position on the issue.
Bottom line: Expect more of the same between now and June when the next senate is inaugurated. Already, President Muhammadu Buhari who adopted a less active approach the last time seems to be getting involved early this season. The presidency which endured a frosty relationship with the last senate would be actively seeking a more friendly senate president.