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Buhari, Osinbajo not against my Senate presidency bid, says Ndume

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One of Nigerian lawmakers jostling for the seat of the Senate president in the 9th National Assembly Ali Ndume has refuted claims that Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari and vice president Yemi Osinbajo were against his ambition.

“Personally, I’m a committed Buharist. Whether I become the senate president or not, I will continue to stand by him, defend his policies because I see him as a mentor,” Ndume said in a statement.

“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 go-ahead

“It was a misinformation. The truth is, 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.”

It was rumoured that Osinbajo was asked Ndume to drop his bid to be Senate president when they met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja for Ahmed Lawan, who is touted as the party’s anointed candidate for the seat currently occupied by Bukola Saraki.

Ndume’s bid for the seat of Senate president has been criticised as going against the party’s wish by some of its members. His bid for the seat was recently opposed by his own “kinsman” and state governor, Kashim Shettima of Borno State.

However, Ndume, a former senate leader, is not giving up on his quest to be Nigeria’s Senate president in the 9th National Assembly.

While the tussle goes on, some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), including Shettima, who opposed Ndume’s Senate presidency bid, claimed that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari had endorsed Ahmed Lawan.

However, the claims are yet to be verified as Buhari has been silent on his acclaimed support for either candidates in the tussle for the 9th National Assembly leadership.

But Ndume said the outcome of his Senate presidency bid will not deter his relationship with Buhari whom he described as “a man of nobody but belongs to everybody.”

“I believe he (Buhari) will not go against my aspiration because as he said, he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody,” Ndume said.

He explained that his meeting with Osinbajo centred on national issues and nothing related to the leadership of the incoming 9th National Assembly.

“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,” Ndume said.

“We also discussed general issues that affect the country, as well as the way forward on the humanitarian crisis, especially the IDPs, and not just in Borno State, but also IDPs’ situations all over the country,” Ndume said.


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