The Concerned Borno Citizens have outlined 10 reasons why the 9th National Assembly should support Senator Mohammad Ali Ndume’s bid for Senate Presidency as it votes its leaders in June this year.
The group, led by a former Nigerian Ambassador to Pakistan, Ambassador Dauda Danlami, made the appeal at a press conference held at Treasure Suites, Central Business Disctrict, Abuja on Thursday. Other members of the group include Alhaji Mohammed Goni, former Governor of Borno State, Senator Maina Maaji Lawan, a former Governor Borno State, Alhaji Ali Abubakar Jatau, a former Deputy Governor, Hon Umar Lawan Kareto, a former Deputy National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno State, among 44 other important personalities from the state. Below is a text of the group’s statement:-
“We first wish to congratulate Nigerians for the successful conduct of a credible, free and fair 2019 general elections. At this critical moment of our quest for credible leadership, we give glory to God Almighty for the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. We congratulate your Excellencies. We also seize this opportunity to congratulate Members elect of the National Assembly as well as Governors elect and Members of State Assemblies. We pray to Almighty God to give your Excellences and Parliamentarians at all levels the courage; wisdom and good health to justify the confidence reposed in you by Nigerians.
“There is no doubt that the 9th National Assembly has a critical role to play if Government is to actualize all its developmental projects, programs and policies that will propel Nigeria into the industrialized world in the near future. Hence a cooperative partnership driven National Assembly that will support, encourage and work with the executive to accelerate the achievement of socio economic objectives of the Government cannot be overemphasized.
“It is in this regard that we the Concerned Citizens of Borno are coming forward to urge Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to contest for the office of the President of the Senate in the 9th National Assembly. We are convinced that Senator Ndume possesses all the qualities and requirements to hold the office of the Senate President being a loyal party man and a ranking Senator.
(1) He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2003 and 2007 and
(2) He held the position of a Minority Leader of the House of Representatives from 2007- 2011
(3) He has been in the Senate since 2011 representing Borno South Senatorial District with distinction.
(4) Senator Ndume emerged as the Senate Leader in 2015 and was removed in a controversial circumstance in January 2017 ostensibly for his defense of party policies and for being a loyalist to the Government.
(5) His stint as a Lawmaker in both chambers of the National Assembly from 2003 to date are there to speak for themselves, where he stood firm in the cause of his people and contributed immensely in debates and passages of people oriented bills and motions.
(6) In the run up to the 2019 elections, he was appointed as the North/East zonal Director for the APC Presidential Campaign Council. In all of the above, Senator Ndume put in his best to achieve the desired results. It is for these and many more reasons that we are commending this our illustrious son to Nigerians.
(7) Our plea for the Distinguished Senator to seek for the office of the President of the Senate is premised on the fact that the North/East geo-political zone where he hails from gave the President the second highest vote cast.
(8) This is in addition to the fact that the region has been ravaged by insurgency from 2009 until the coming of this administration in 2015.
(9) Borno State being the epicenter of the crises deserves serious attention. The office of the President of the Senate will therefore offer the state a good opportunity to fast track reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of millions of displaced persons.
(10) It will also be apt to add that Borno state has the highest percentage of 92% of votes cast for President Buhari in the just concluded 2019 election.”
Below are some questions asked by journalists and the responses given by members of the group:
Is Governor Shettima in support of Ndume’s bid for Senate Presidency?
I cannot say categorically that he has endorsed, but the governor is the servant of the people. We will go and tell him. Governor of Borno state and Ndume are very close friends. That is one. Two, they are also very close political allies. Three, throughout the political career of Sen. Ndume he has been working very closely with the governor and, as you know, there is no way a politician would continue winning elections in his state without the support of his people and without the support of the leadership of the party in the state. Technically, I want to say without fear of contradiction that Gov. Shettima is 100 percent behind Sen. Ndume to become the senate president.
We heard that the president has endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan. How would you respond to that development?
You are insinuating, because it has not been made public and we have not seen it that the presidency alleged, in quote, endorsed Sen. Ahmed Lawan for the senate presidency. This is news to us because it is only an allegation. To the best of our knowledge, going by antecedents, this president has never gone out of his way to implant anybody on anybody. Secondly, the pedigree of Sen. Ndume in this direction, he has been in both houses of the national assembly and he has had very significant roles, a major player. He has not been a quiet player. And he has also at a point in time traversed both political parties. So, he is sufficiently endowed and exposed and sufficiently performed his duties to endear himself to the members of the National Assembly. Ndume is like the man of the moment because his support cut across party lines and all known blocs in the party.