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A former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, has said he will emerge as the Senate President of the Ninth National Assembly.
The senator said this in an interview with journalists in Lagos on Monday.
He said he was confident because he had the support of his colleagues in the Senate and the leaders of the All Progressives Congress.
Ndume said he was not in the race to bargain for a juicy position, saying he had done his homework.
He stated that no party leader had asked him to withdraw for anyone, adding that the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, had explained that the party only recommended Senator Ahmad Lawan as the preferred choice and had not imposed him on the senators.
He said, “We have 109 senators and each of them have one vote. If you are contesting to be the Senate President, you have to reach out. But in the beginning, I was cautious because I am a party man. So, when the party said ‘don’t go there,’ I did not.
“But the party came out again and said, ‘You can reach out to them now,’ so I reached out to them.
“So far, the response I am getting from my colleagues from the APC and other parties is very encouraging. I am in this race to win; I am talking to everybody. I have the telephone numbers of all the 109 senators-elect and I call them.
“I have written the party, indicating my intention to contest. Even my national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, publicly said they only recommended Lawan and not that they are stopping anybody.
“As I speak with you, nobody has consulted me to say ‘don’t run for Senate President’. Everybody has the constitutional right to do that.”
Ndume, who represents Borno South in the Senate, promised to improve upon the performance of the Eighth Senate.
He promised to make the Office of the Senate President less attractive by reducing the unnecessary privileges attached to the office.
While promising to uphold the independence of the legislative arm of government, the third- time Senator promised to “work harmoniously and inter-dependently with the executive without undermining the principle of separation of power.”
The lawmaker said the North-East deserved an articulate representative as Senate President, adding that the region had suffered huge devastation with property worth over N2tn destroyed by insurgents.
Ndume, who said if given the opportunity, he would not compromise the independence of the legislature, adding that his chances of becoming the next Senate President were bright.