Senator Ali Ndume, one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers contesting for the position of the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has berated the leadership of the ruling APC for endorsing candidates for the presiding officers position of the National Assembly.
The Adams Oshiomhole led APC had warned APC-lawmakers-elect against working with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in electing the next 9th National Assembly presiding officers.
His position was recently criticized by the National Deputy Chairman of the party, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, who alleged that Oshiomhole has neither capabilities nor experience to run a political party.
According to Senator Shuaibu in his leaked letter published on Naija Buzz, for an APC senator to become the next senate president, the party must go down on its kneel to beg for PDP support. Yet Oshiomhole said that the APC does not need the PDP to elect presiding officers.
Mr. Ndume who had however vehemently rejected his party’s position and insisted on contesting against his party’s candidate noted that declaring a candidate for the seat by the APC is a breach of Nigerian Constitution and the party’s constitution.
He noted that the party should have treated all members equally and allow a free contest among all interested qualified lawmakers.
The senator further said that Oshiomhole and the leadership of the APC are wrong for endorsing a candidate and compelling APC lawmakers to support the candidate, adding that their action is discriminatory and unjust.
Ndume has repeatedly expressed confidence of winning the position if a free and fair contest was allowed. He noted that his colleagues were in support of his ambition.
APC anointed candidate, Senator Lawan, was endorsed in 2015 to become senate president. Dr. Bukola Saraki however defeated him to emerge the president of the senate.
Same also happened in the House in 2015 when Hon. Yakubu Dogara defeated APC anointed candidate Gbajabiamila to emerge speaker.
Saraki and Dogara were both members of the ruling APC at the time before eventually dumping the party for the opposition PDP.
Dogara in his reaction to the endorsement of Gbajabiamila and Lawan for 9th Assembly had stated that since 1999, lawmakers had always rejected the imposition of candidates by political parties.
Apart from Ndume, Senator Danjuma Goje has also expressed interest in contesting the position.