A northern group of elders has urged Borno South senator, Ali Ndume, to contest for the office of the Senate President.
The Concerned Citizens of Borno, which comprises ‘elders’ from the state, in a statement on Friday said Mr Ndume possesses all the qualities and requirements to hold the office.
The current Senate President, Bukola Saraki, is expected to vacate the seat at the end of the 8th assembly having lost his reelection bid in the just concluded general elections.
There have been speculations as regards who the next occupant of the seat will be as well as who President Muhammadu Buhari will support.
Although the president cannot singlehandedly determine who emerges as the Senate president, he can, however, influence his party which usually zones such plum positions.
The party currently has over 60 senators-elect, a clear majority.
In a statement signed by 45 members, the group explained that the 9th National Assembly has a critical role to play if the government is to actualise all its developmental projects.
“It is in this regard that we the Concerned Citizens of Borno are coming forward to urge Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to contest for the office of the President of the Senate in the 9th National Assembly.
“We are convinced that Senator Ndume possesses all the qualities and requirements to hold the office of the Senate President being a loyal party man and a ranking Senator.
“Senator Ndume emerged as the Senate Leader in 2015 and was removed in a controversial circumstance in January 2017 ostensibly for his defence of party policies and for being a loyalist to the government.
“His stint as a lawmaker in both chambers of the National Assembly from 2003 to date are there to speak for themselves, where he stood firm in the cause of his people and contributed immensely in debates and passages of people-oriented bills and motions,” the statement noted.
They further said their plea for Mr Ndume to seek for the office is premised on the fact that the North-east geo-political zone where he hails from gave the president the second highest votes cast.
Season of Calls
This group is one among many who have called on several lawmakers to contest for the position.
Earlier, a political pressure group, the National Interest Progressive Forum (NIPF) appealed to the leadership of the APC to support the candidacy of Ahmed Lawan, the senator representing Yobe North as the president of the 9th Senate.
The group said the call became imperative as the APC needs to ensure a stable 9th National Assembly (NASS) to achieve the objectives contained in the party’s ‘Next Level’ agenda.
Also, leaders of the APC in the South-south have demanded the position of the Senate President as they said the zone deserved the position.
The leaders said the leadership of the party in the zone “has done extreme hard work towards stabilising the polity to ensure that business thrives in the region, and also informing the youth that development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace”.