Borno elders have endorsed Senator Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) for the Senate presidency of the 9th National Assembly.
Naija News had reported that Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State dumped his kinsman, Ndume, and endorsed Ahmed Lawan on Monday.
Speaking through their spokesman, Yakubu Umar, the elders said President Muhammadu Buhari had last December backed Ndume for the job.
The Borno elders’ spokesman told 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 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 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 the presidency; just as he was suspended from plenary for defending 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 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.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, 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.