What President Tinubu Told Me About His Choice For Senate President — Ndume Finally Opens Up
Senator Ali Ndume has disclosed that President Bola Tinubu revealed to him that Senator Godswill Akpabio is his prefered candidate for President of the 10th Nigerian Senate.
Ndume who mentioned this on Wednesday night on Channels Television’s Politics Today added that the president sought his support to lead Akpabio’s campaign.
“The President told me that his preferred candidate is Akpabio and I should lead the campaign,” Ndume was quoted by Channels TV saying.
The federal lawmaker from Borno South equally expressed confidence that the President would not change his stance on the leadership of the 10th Senate.
There have been calls on Tinubu from several quarters not to meddle in the leadership of the National Assembly nor foist any anointed candidate on the lawmakers.
Akpabio on his part is facing corruption investigations from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and had recently refused to honour invitations from the anti-graft agency.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) allocated four major slots for the 10th National Assembly in May and named elected lawmakers to fill each position.
The zoning arrangement is as follows: Senate President – South-South, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); and Deputy Senate President – North West, Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano).
Others are the Speaker of the House of Representatives (North-West) – Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna); and Deputy Speaker, South East-Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia).
According to a lawmaker who has served in the National Assembly for 20 years, 75 of the 109 elected Senators in the red chamber have backed Akpabio’s aspiration as of today.
Ndume acknowledged tough opposition from the camp of former Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari, who is also a top contender for the role of Senate President, but claimed the Akpabio camp had all the advantages.
He continued: “As at today I am telling you we have 75 senators. All advantages are on our side. We have the support of the party, we have the support of the president, and most importantly we have the support of most of the senators. These senators signed up to endorse our programme.”
While remaining confident in the Akpabio camp’s ability to carry the day during the election, the Borno lawmaker did not rule out surprises, admitting that people can alter their minds at the last minute.
“Let’s say that some people will jump over at the last minute, that can happen, but I am very confident. I don’t want to be overconfident because people can change their mind, but we have a better candidate.
“We have two candidates that are in front now, that is Yari and Akpabio and our candidate has all the advantages over the other candidate, politically and intellectually, we have an added advantage,” Ndume added.