A former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, has said his ambition to be the next Senate President is not at cross-purposes with the interest of the Presidency.
Ndume is vying for the office of the Senate President, in spite the decision of his party, the All Progressives Congress, which has endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan for the office.
In a statement on Thursday, Ndume said long before the general elections, he had sought the permission of President Muhammadu Buhari to be the Senate President.
He said Buhari gave him the go-ahead then and he had not taken a different position since then.
He described as “a spin from a well-known quarters,” the claim that his ambition to be the Senate President was at variance with the interest of the President.
He said, “Personally, I am a committed Buharist. Whether I become the Senate President or not, I will continue to stand by him and defend his policies because I see him as a mentor.
“And I believe that Mr President has nothing against my aspiration for the office of the Senate President because I sought his permission long before the general elections and he gave me the go-ahead. I have not heard anything otherwise from him.
“I believe he will not go against my aspiration, because as he said he belonged to everybody and belonged to nobody. And he sticks to that. I am sure that the least he can do is to allow the constitution, which he strongly believes in, and the rule of law to prevail, in the emergence of the Senate leadership.
“So, I want to use this opportunity to clear the air as to those that are trying to cause disaffection.”
Ndume also dismissed the claim that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo pressured him to drop the ambition of becoming the Senate President when he met him recently in Aso Villa.
He said, “It was misinformation. The truth is that it is usual for me to meet with the Vice-President to discuss issues of common interest, especially the humanitarian crisis in the North-East, of which the Vice- President has shown exceptional interest in helping out.
“I normally go there to brief him on developments in the region, especially the performance of the orphanage scheme which he initiated in Borno that is accommodating over 1,200 orphans – their education and welfare.
“And then, we also discussed general issues that affect the country as well as the way forward on the humanitarian crisis especially the internally displaced persons and not just in Borno State but also IDPs situations all over the country.”
Credit: The Punch