Senator Ali Ndume is shunning all entreaties and appears ready to brave all odds to actualise his dream and ambition of succeeding Abubakar Bukola Saraki as Senate President.
The lawmaker from Borno South has shoved aside the pleas from National Leader of his party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to pocket his ambition and allow the general interest and will of the party and especially it’s chieftains to be done.
Ndume is putting on the robe of a raging bull and seems ready to bulldoze his way to becoming the Senate President of the 9th Senate and Chairman of the 9th National Assembly.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the meeting between Ndume and Vice-President Prof Yemi Osinbajo ended in a stalemate. This further confirms the report in a national daily last weekend that Ndume shunned 13 Senators who travelled from Abuja to speak with him in Maiduguri. Though, one of the Senators denied the report saying that the trip to Maiduguri was to attend the wedding of Senator Ahmed Lawan’s niece.
Meanwhile, Ndume has debunked claims that he is relying on the support of the Senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to achieve his plot hence his insistence of going ahead with the plan to grab the seat of Senate President.
Insiders have maintained that Ndume is using this opportunity and stand to payback his party for keeping him in the cooler during his faceoff with the Senate which led to his suspension and accusation by his foes that he was a sponsor of Boko Haram.
To Ndume, the party left him in the limbo and made him look like an orphan. He was made to look like the accusations against him were true. He never liked it.
Now he is ready to upset the apple cart. He thinks it’s time for the party’s chieftains to have a dose and feel of the same bitter pill and headache they gave to him while he was at war with his colleagues and by extension his party.
Recall that Ndume has been the Senate Majority leader after the 2015 elections but he was impeached by the APC Senators on 10 January 2017.
In March 2017, Ndume was suspended for six months by the Senate committee on Ethics and Privileges headed by Senator Anyanwu, for calling for a probe into the allegations of imported bullet proof range rover with fake documents involving Senate President Bukola Saraki seized by the Nigerian Customs and that of perjury involving Senator Dino Melaye.
After exonerating both Saraki and Melaye the committee recommended a one year ban to Ndume claiming the former Senate Leader failed to conduct proper investigation before making the said allegations. In a swift response Ndume denied making any allegations against anybody. Saying he only raised the issues in the house as reported by the media.
“It will take a miracle to convince Ndume to drop his quest and ambition to contest the position of Senate President”, says a lawmaker close to Ndume. This has further given the All Progressives Congress (APC) huge concern if not nightmares. The party is about to face the same crisis that rocked it in 2015 leading to the emergence of Saraki as Senate President which eventually pitched him (Saraki) against the leadership of the party and the Senate against the executive cum presidency.
APC is racing against time as the election of the leadership of the Senate draws near.
The party is under severe pressure even as the issue is fast dividing the Senators and creating more crisis within the party. Some Senators backing the position of Ndume say, they (Senators) should be left alone to sort out the issue of who leads them. They further argued that the interference of the party has clearly indicated that the Senate will never be free from the control of the party’s chieftains and the executive arm of government which is not good enough for democracy or democratic practice and principles.
Perhaps it is on this basis that former governor of Abia Stste and Senator-elect Orji Uzor Kalu declared that if the South East does not get the nod of the party to produce the Deputy Senate President, he will go ahead to vie for the position of Senate President proper. This will further unsettle the party.
Indeed, Ndume could be the catalyst of a new order within the APC as Nigerians may witness another long drama and cold war between the legislative arm of government and the executive arm which has the weight of the party’s leadership behind it.
However, a last minute settlement and change of mind by Ndume is still expected if President Muhammadu Buhari wades in. “He may be invited to Aso Villa very soon to discuss the matter with President Buhari”, an impeccable source told Younews.