Former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, on Wednesday vowed not to give up on his bid to contest for the position of senate president during the forthcoming inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.
The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the Presidency, have since endorsed the incumbent Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, APC-Yobe South for the position of number three citizen.
But Ndume, APC-Borno South told journalists in Abuja that Lawan was only recommended by the party, but not imposed as there is no provision in the constitution of the party for imposition.
According to him, it was wrong in the first place for leaders to be given a leader among themselves having considered the North East geo-political zone for the position of the Senate President.
Ndume, who informed that insurgency has inflicted N9.2 trillion destruction in the zone, described Borno as a failed state, said that the state and the zone would need someone like him to be the next Senate President in order to bring back the state to where things will work.
He lamented that at the moment, there is no telephone, no light, no functional schools in his Gwoza local government area.
“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 tobve 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 that is not to say that I think I am more qualified to be the Senate leader. I am not better than them in any way. Most of them were born with silver spoon, I came up from a very poor background.
“I am a human being that has rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which I font compromise. Even before I threw my heart into the ring for the Senate Presidency seat, my people called on me to throw my heart 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 becauseb you are in the heart of the problem. You know how it is.
“So, if this opportunity is given to us, we have three critical issues in Borno particularly and and the North East in general.
“One is the issue of recharging of Lake Chad, which should be taken globally by somebody that knows it, somebody that can explain better to the people. Two, the issue of insurgence as I said, had inflicted a N2.7 trillion damage on us. If we are to go by monthly federal allocation and the budget of the state, it will take us ages.
“Right now, you can rightly say that Borno is a failed state. And the only way to bring it back is to have a way. And part of it is because I know and my passion for it because it affects me directly. Right now as I am speaking to you, I cannot comfortably drive to my local government. It has no light now because it is no connected. It has no telephone because the insurgents have destroyed the equipment. The ecosystem is destroyed, our schools are closed.
“Secondly, I have been in this place for quite a while. The Senate was intended to be a stabilizing institution in the polity. When we came in, the senators were not doing much. I was inbtge House of Representatives then, we provided the advice and they took less of things like motions and all that. And they were going the senatorial job. Gradually, this is drifting. And we have gotten to a point now where from outside, a Senate President will be imposed on senators.
“I am glad that the party after doing that announcement, realised that it was wrong and unconstitutional. Even the party supremacy that they are talking about, in Article Two of the APC Constitution, it says that subject to the provision of the constitution, the APC will provide services to the government. And Section 50 of the Constitution is very clear about emergence of the leadership.
“Besides, in all the emergence of candidates of APC, there is no provision for imposition. The President emerged through a democratic process. And the election was open, it was zoned in line with the Constitution. Even then, Rochas Okorocha contested and he was not disciplined. Buhari contested with Atiku, Kwankwanso and the others.”
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