The senator representing Borno South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Mohammed Ali Ndume has berated the Adams Oshiomhole leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for endorsing Senator Ahmed Lawan as the party’s candidate for the position of Senate President in the 9th Senate.
Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, Ndume said he was shocked by the party’s decision to announce Lawan’s adoption at a dinner meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari, the APC National Working Committee and National Assembly members- elect at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
“I was shocked because the constitutional provision of Section 60(1) (a) on the emergence of the Senate President is clear.
“It says that the Senate President and Deputy Senate President shall be elected by members and it says the law is binding on everybody including the party.”
The senator maintained that the 109 Senators in the Upper Legislative Chamber should choose among themselves their leaders through consensus or through indirect or direct election.
He therefore berated the party’s decision, stressing that “as a party that should be operating on principle of internal democracy and as a government which always proclaims due process, the decision is very wrong.”
According to him, although the zoning arrangement enhances fairness, justice and equity, it is not stipulated in the Constitution and as such settling for an individual is not the proper thing for the party to do.
“Even if the party has zoned the Senate Presidency to the North East, it should have allowed senators from the zone to produce one of them. We were supposed to be given the honour as Senators from the North East to choose the Senate President among ourselves .
“I was not given a chance as a party loyalist and as someone that loves President Muhammadu Buhari. The party did not even contact us having made known our interest in the race. They did not appeal to us to drop our ambition for Senator Lawan.
“The party chairman just made the pronouncement. We were not given the chance to make any comment or ask questions and even Lawan, the chosen candidate was not given the chance to thank us his colleagues who are in the race.
“I believe the decision was not that of the party but that of Adams Oshiomhole. What happened on Monday night has even worsened the selective process. The Senate as an institution should be independent and nobody or party should impose candidate on the Senate.
“The Senate President should be truly Senate President and not Senators’ President. In a senate of 109 members, the kingmakers should be the senators. It is not fair for someone to appoint a leader for leaders,” he added.