9th Senate: I am hopeful Ndume will step down ― Oshiomhole

As party stakeholders formally endorse Omo-Agege, Wase for DSP, Deputy Speaker; Bago, Kalu, Gaya, boycott meeting with lawmakers

Ahead of Tuesday’s election of principal officers of the 9th National Assembly, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said he is confident Senator Ali Ndume would withdraw from the race for the office of Senate President.

The Senator representing Borno South senatorial district is the main rival to the anointed candidate of the APC and the Presidency for the position, Senator Ahmed Lawan.

Comrade Oshiomhole made the declaration on Monday shortly after a closed-door meeting with senators and House of Representatives members held at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.

The APC national chairman said Senator Ndume would withdraw from the contest, in deference to the leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “Well, for now, we are still trying to talk to Ali Ndume. I believe that he is a democrat. He understands that in a democracy, it is important that he listens to the voice of the majority and accept the decisions of the majority. I mean it is all about sacrifice. Like I said, I do not know of anybody who has been elected who is not qualified to become the Senate President, and senators are equal.

“For those who have stepped down, they have done that in recognition of the fact that at a particular point in time, only one person will emerge and I believe that my dear friend Sen. Ali Ndume will not be a lone ranger. He will abide by the spirit of the party and he will respect our overall leader who is the president of our country, who is also the leader of our party. I do not have any fear, I believe Ndume will accept the will of the majority.”

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He thanked those who withdrew from the race for the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and further disclosed that Monday’s meeting at Sheraton Hotel was called “basically to firm up all the conversations and lobbying that have gone on and we have already had a meeting with specific conclusions.

“We have all agreed as a caucus to endorse distinguished Senator Ahmed Lawan as APC candidate for the presidency of the Senate and distinguished Sen. Omo-Agege for the deputy presidency of the Senate.”

Tribune Online findings revealed that certain aspirants for the position of Speaker House of Representatives formally announced their withdrawal from the race at the closed-door meeting. The list included Honourable Segun Odebunmi from Oyo State and Nkiru Onyejeocha from Abia State.

Honourable Idris Wase was equally adopted formally as the candidate for deputy speaker, according to recognition to Gbajabiamila/ Wase ticket.

Former Abia State governor and Senator-elect, Orji Uzor Kalu and his counterpart from Kano State, Kabiru Gaya shunned the meeting which had some APC governor and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha in attendance.

The duo has vowed to contest the position of Deputy Senate President at Tuesday’s inaugural session of the 9th Senate despite the adoption of Senator Omo-Agege by the party stakeholders.

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