Senator Ali Ndume, a former Senate Leader, has on Tuesday despite the position of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the office of the Senate President, declared his intention to become the senate president ahead of the 9th Assembly.
The party leadership had endorsed Senate Ahmad Lawan as the next Senate President.
The National Leader of APC, Bola Tinubu, had in a statement last week warned that any member of the party who would not support the party’s position for the office of the senate president should leave the party.
Ndume however ignored his party leaders and unveil his nine-point agenda as senate president for the 9th Assembly.
The senator promised to make the office of the Senate President less attractive by reducing the unnecessary privileges attached to it and also uphold the independence of the legislature.
He further promised to work harmoniously and inter-dependently with the executive without undermining the principle of separation of powers.”
“We will make laws that will block leakages devise improved means of generating revenue, especially through the amendment and review of our tax laws which will help to reduce reliance on local and foreign loans to finance budget.
“We will run the 9th Senate transparently, through open accountability with full participation of all senators .For example, we will transfer the approving powers of the privileges of the senators like foreign travels, allowances to Senate services committee or a new committee to be known as “ways and means committee,” he added.
Lanre Isa-Onilu, the spokesman of the APC, in his reaction faulted Ndume’s declaration, saying that the ticket the senator is holding belongs to the APC, he can therefore not go back to give what belongs to the APC to the opposition.
“The ticket he (Ndume) is holding belongs to the APC and he cannot go and work with the opposition to give what belongs to the APC to the opposition, like it happened in 2015 when the position of the Deputy Senate President was given to the opposition by some desperate former members of the APC.
“Ndume will be wrong to be calling out the party’s national chairman. The national chairman spoke on behalf of the party. And when we talk of the party in this instance, it is not just about the NWC.
“The President (Muhammadu Buhari) was there when he said it. He did not say anything that the President was not aware of. He did not say anything that the leaders of the APC are not already part of.”
He added that the party would take a decision on Ndume, saying that the issued would be resolved since there’s still time and negotiation is still ongoing.