Ndume blames electoral bill crisis on executive, legislature ‘disconnect’
Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Ali Ndume, has said the “disconnect” between the Executive (Presidency) and the Legislature (National Assembly) is threatening the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, and by extension, moves to deepen Nigeria’s democracy.
He noted that loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari by many senators presents “a serious dilemma to the leadership of the National Assembly,” stressing that where the interest of the nation is in conflict with personal relationships, the truth should prevail.
Ndume, who bared his mind on a live programme, recalled the warp and woof that played out during the election of principal officers of the Senate, stating that although he has a personal relationship with Buhari, he would not allow that tie to undermine the functions of the legislature.
His words: “I have respect for the President. That does not (mean) I cannot speak the truth. For instance, this rubber stamp toga on the National Assembly is because you want to please certain people.”
On the situation within his party, the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), the representative of Borno Central Senatorial District stated that the problem of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, was that “he wants to satisfy everybody, but ends up satisfying nobody.”
Ndume, who said he was worried about the suspense trailing the planned national convention of the party, expressed regretted the absence of a Board of Trustees (BoT) and a national caucus of the party six years after its election into power.
He suggested a mature candidate capable of acting as a father figure for the party as the best candidate to serve as the next APC National Chairman, even as the senator said any of the ideal chairmanship candidates should come from either North East or North Central.
Ndume submitted: “President Buhari is from North West and that rules out North West from the contest. I have preferred candidates from both North East and North Central. The party is supreme. I go with the party’s decision, but the party is yet to pronounce on zoning and until then, I feel it is premature to disclose my preferred candidates.”
On the contentious issue of zoning of the presidential ticket of the party, the Borno lawmaker said he personally believes that the South should produce the candidate, stating that APC, at formation, recognised the formula.