9th Assembly: Nobody can impose Senate President – Ndume
One of the front line contenders for the office of the Senate Presidency, Senator Ali Ndume, on Wednesday declared that there is no provision for the imposition of Senate President.
The Borno South senator noted the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are clear on how the Senate leadership should emerge.
Ndume told reporters in Abuja that his right to aspire for any position in the country is guaranteed by the Constitution.
He insisted that it is wrong for leaders as Senators to be given a leader from outside.
The former Senate leader said that he felt he is qualified for the job and should therefore be given the chance.
According to him, the zoning of the Senate President was made to North East deliberately because of the precarious situation that “we find ourselves.”
Ndume said: “My mission for the Ninth Senate is not personal. It is part of what we need to do in the polity of this country.
“First of all, it is wrong for leaders to be given a leader from amongst themselves.
“They are supposed to decide who among themselves is supposed to be their leader. And that also is taken care of by the Constitution of the Federal Republic, Section 50 (1).
“It is very clear as to how the Senate leadership should emerge. But let me quickly add that is not to say that I think I am more qualified to be the Senate President.
“I am not better than them in any way. Most of them were born with silver spoon. I came from a very poor background. My father was not educated. I am the son of nobody that became some body.
“I am a human being that has rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which I won’t compromise.
“Even before I threw my hat into the ring for the Senate Presidency seat, my people called on me to throw my hat for the position. And I did for many reasons.
“One, I feel I am qualified. Two, I feel I should be given the chance. Three, the zoning was made to North East deliberately because of the precarious situation that we find ourselves.
“The insurgency has inflicted N9.2 trillion destruction on the North East. And you need somebody who knows where it pinches.
“We in Borno are in the epicenter of the Book Haram destruction. So it is not like what you will get from the Office of the Senate President but what you can do with it.
“If you are the Senate President in this country, you will be able to globetrot around, tell people how the problem is because you are in the heart of the problem. You know how it is and how it feels.
“So, if this opportunity is given to us, we have three critical issues in Borno particularly and the North East in general.”