9th Senate: Ndume, Goje set to tackle Ahmed Lawan for Senate Presidency
Senators conclude zonal consultations, to unveil agenda
Notwithstanding the endorsement of Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan as the anointed candidate for the position of Senate President of the 9th Senate, two other contenders from the North East, Senator Ali Ndume and Danjuma Goje are set to formally enter the race.
Sources in the polity had confirmed to Tribune Online that the two Senators headed for the North East at the weekend to consult top political leaders and influential persons in respect of the Senate Presidency of the 9th Assembly.
It was gathered that at the end if the series of consultations embarked upon by the duo, they reached a conclusion to contest the Senate presidency in June.
Sources said that each of the senators has already secured the backing of a number of lawmakers of the incoming Senate.
A source said that Ndume was particularly insistent on contesting the election to defend the rule of law and the independence of the Senate.
“I can tell you that Senator Ndume has concluded consultations at the zonal level and he received overwhelming support from the stakeholders who declared that they would stand by him in this course.
“He has also received a number of support from Senators across party lines and the support is encouraging,” a lawmaker in the know said.
The lawmaker added that Senator Ndume is bent on contesting because of his believe in democracy, the rule of law and the institution of the National Assembly.
A similar point was raised about Senator Goje, who was said to have embarked on underground consultations to ensure he determines the way forward.
It was learnt that the Gombe Senator has not given up his ambition contrary to insinuations in some quarters.
A lawmaker in the know among the incoming Senators described the situation thus: “The other day, Senator Goje and the Governor-elect of Gombe were seen at the Presidential Villa, the visit was misinterpreted to mean that the Senator has been pacified whereas the duo went to the Villa for a different matter.
“The clear indication from Senator Goje is that he will contest the position of Senate President and leave the choice to his colleagues.
“The good thing is that the fear that a division among those of us in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), could give chance to the Senators of the People Democratic Party (PDP) but we have confirmed that the PDP lawmakers are not interested in contesting any of the presiding officer positions.
“They just want us to produce a credible candidate and they will support. They have assured us that they want to avoid the sort of blame that resorted from the situation of 2015, where the antagonism in the legislature was largely blamed on their involvement.”
Sources also said that in a short while Ndume would be unveiling his agenda for the 9th Senate while his compatriot, Goje, the incumbent Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations will also follow suit.
“The duo (Ndume and Goje) are not backing down, I can assure you that in a matter of days, you will see developments unfolding,” a source stated.