- Ekweremadu, Saraki fingered in the plans that scuttled Ali Ndume’s ambition of becoming Senate President
Yesterday, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was inaugurated with the election of the Senate president and Deputy Senate President.
Following the election conducted by the clerk of the National Assembly at the red chamber, Senator Ahmed Lawan, representing Yobe North Senatorial district, was elected the Senate President, scoring 79 votes to defeat his opponent, Senator Ali Ndume who scored 28 votes in a total votes cast by 107 Senators.
Similarly, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, representing Delta Central Senatorial District was elected the Deputy Senate President after defeating the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu of the People’s Democratic party with 68 votes against 39 votes scored by Ekweremadu.
Investigation conducted by Starnews however revealed why Senator Lawan defeated Ndume.
Reports gathered by Starnews revealed that the Borno born politician, Ndume, who represents the southern senatorial district of Borno state at the Senate was betrayed by many lawmakers he relied upon including some People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senator.
An APC Senator who confided in Starnews correspondent at the National Assembly complex yesterday in Abuja, alleged that some PDP Lawmakers loyal to Ndume had a change of mind after they allegedly collected $10,000 from the camp of Ahmad Lawan with the promise of juicy committees.
Starnews also learnt that some Senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) working for Ndume also betrayed him after they allegedly collected heavy bribed between the amount of $10,000USD -$15,000USD.
A PDP Senator from Benue who openly worked for Ahmad Lawan did not also hide the truth when he spoke to Starnews yesterday at the Senate chambers. He confirmed that some of the PDP lawmakers were bought over while some ranking Senators also betrayed some newly elected Senators who were looking up to them for proper direction over whom to vote.
Another PDP Senator loyal to the camp of Lawan did not even hide the dollar in his pocket when he was talking to his colleague yesterday, blaming him for not voting for Lawan.He was heard blaming a colleague while accusing the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu of betraying other lawmakers and his party, the PDP.
He told a colleague that “he was hinted about how Ekweremadu went through the back door to negotiate with Lawan for the position of Deputy Senate President with promise to mobilise half of PDP Senators for Lawan against his party’s position which eventually rocked the boat according to him.”
He said: “ I quickly took their dollar the moment I heard that Ekweremadu had sold out in the name of negotiation to contest the seat of Deputy Senate President against the decision of our party. I am not a mumu (a fool) whose intelligence could be played upon. So, I quickly retraced my steps and decided to go for Lawan and I took their money,” the senator told his colleague without knowing that our staff overhead their discussion.
Facts have also emerged how some Senators loyal to the former Senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, also worked against Ndume’s ambition of becoming the Senate President over alleged influence of Saraki as a means of payback over Ndume’s stern opposition to Saraki’s leadership at the 8th Senate, Starnews reports.
Recall that the Nigerian Senate under the leadership of Saraki suspended the former senate leader, Ndume for a period of six months following the allegation against Bukola Saraki of acquiring Armored SUV with fake Custom papers and that Senator Dino Melaye did not graduate from Ahmadu Bello University, ABU.
While the Senate committee on Ethics and Privileges cleared Saraki and Melaye, it recommended six-month-suspension for Ndume.
Starnews gathered that Saraki’s roles in the emergence of Senator Lawan against Ndume might not be unconnected with the crisis between Ndume and Saraki two years ago based on the aforementioned.