Ndume Shuns Bola Tinubu; Insists On Becoming 9th NASS Senate President

The race for who moves toward becoming Senate President in the coming
ninth Senate is as yet open. Very late endeavors by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and other party pioneers to appease Senator Ali Ndume to drop his offer for the Senate administration may have tumbled.
Investigations revealed that the leadership of the party and some influential senators met last week and decided to reach out to Ndume, who is contesting the position against Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Ndume reportedly rejected moves by Tinubu to make him drop his ambition.

Details of how it all happened were still sketchy as of Saturday while Ndume who could confirm or deny the development, did not answer calls put across to him.

However, a senator told The Punch on condition of anonymity that a group of Pro-Lawan senator who travelled to Maiduguri on Friday returned to Abuja on Saturday evening without achieving their mission.

He said the group of senators had planned to meet Governor Kashim Shettima, also a senator-elect, but were disappointed when they could not meet with him.

The senator said, “The governor, who was probably aware of the Pro-Lawan senators’ visit, travelled out of the country before their arrival.

“The lawmakers decided to meet the deputy governor, who is not a stakeholder in the project. During the brief session, the deputy governor told the lawmakers that Shettima had travelled to Saudi Arabia.”

Shettima, who is from the same state with Ndume, is believed to be one of the major backers of the former Senate leader for the position.

The pro-Lawan senators-elect would have used the opportunity of their visit to convince Shettima on the need to respect the choice of the party by supporting Lawan.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the APC is facing a dilemma following the insistence of some senator-elect to contest the Senate presidency despite settling for Lawan for the job, The Punch has learnt.

Tinubu had said those not in support of the party’s zoning arrangement for the National Assembly positions were free to leave the party.

Speculation is rife that the party may expel any member who decides to move against its stand. But a member of the APC National Working Committee, who spoke with The Punch on condition of anonymity on Saturday, said, “The truth is that for now, the issue of expulsion for our members who are threatening to move against the party’s choice is not on the card.”


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