Tobi Soniyi in Lagos
The Senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, Ali Ndume who is aspiring to be the next Senate President has called on his party, the All Progressives Congress to give all party members aspiring for leadership positions in the 9th Senate a level-playing field.
In an exclusive interview with THISDAY yesterday, Ndume also called on the leadership of the party to respect APC constitution.
According to him, imposing candidates on the Senate runs counter to the letter and spirit of the party’s constitution.
He referred the APC leadership to the preamble of the party’s constitution which he read out to our correspondent.
The preamble read: “We the true progressives and patriots determined to render service at all levels of governance; and to build a nation which will guarantee equal opportunity for all, mutual and peaceful co-existence, respect and understanding, eliminating all forms of discrimination and social injustice among Nigerians, rendering selfless service that will rekindle a deep sense of patriotism and nationalism; hereby make, enact and give the following constitution to ourselves for effective governance of our party and promotion of its ideals, aims and objective.”
Ndume consequently, demanded that the leadership of the party rescind its decision to support one member against the other.
He said APC should not be seen to be acting in violation of its own law. To do so, he said would amount to impunity.
Ndume also referred to Section 50 (1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution as amended which states that members of the Senate will elect the Senate president and the deputy from among themselves.
He said: “The party should be law abiding. I am expecting the party to rescind its decision. In appropriate circumstances, even the Supreme Court rescinds its decisions.
“In the interest of the party and the nation, the party should provide a level-playing field for all aspirants to contest for any leadership positions of their choice.”
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole had expressed support for Ahmed Lawan, the senator representing Yobe North to emerge President of the 9th Senate.
This decision, however, did not go down well with Ndume and others who felt that the Senate should be allowed to elect its leaders in accordance with the constitution.
Apart from Ndume, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje has also expressed his intention to run for the Senate President office.