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Senate Presidency: Making A Case For Ndume

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The days are drawing near and expectations on the rise and very soon the 109 senators will determine who becomes the Senate president and the other principal officers. The 109 wise men and women will likely vote beyond party lines and based on their convictions may prove the book makers wrong. Already the contesters are boasting that they will win convincingly, some even said two third of the members in the Senate are queuing behind the anointed candidate. There is no problem, because after all it is all politicking and it is allowed. But by June the chicken will come to roost and the real leader will emerge.

I have always said it that all the senators are qualified to be Senate president, but in every contest, out of several contestants, sometimes in their thousands, only one is given the crown. And so shall it be in June when the new Senate president will emerge. To make it easier, the position has been zoned to the north east narrowing the number to a sizeable one. And now only three have indicated interest in the nation’s number three position.

Yes, it is normal for people even political parties to have preferred candidate, but at the end of the day, the unexpected would always emerge and leave the book makers gnashing their teeth and conjuring opinions why their candidates lost.

I have repeatedly said this, Ndume remains the most qualified for the job in question. And he has thrown his hat in the ring. He wrote to the party and has since then been traversing the political landscape consulting among the opinion leaders and those who are directly involved in the final emergence of the new Senate president.

Surprisingly, like David Mark in the 6th and 7th Senate, he comes from the minority in his state. While Mark an Idoma is a minority where the Tivs are in dominance, so is Ndume who is from the southern Borno senatorial zone. His Gwoza people are among the minority tribes within the enclave called Borno state where the Kanuris hold sway. But the fear, as in Benue, where they felt an Idoma should not be allowed to climb to prominence nationally, Young Alhaji was propped up to challenge him and only by divine intervention through the court, Young Alhaji would have replaced David Mark and his replacement would have been just an ordinary member in the red chamber and the number three position would have been lost out by Benue state. And a similar dance is about to play out and I want to plead with the Kanuris that the state is more important than an individual. Ndume has played a role much more than a pretender to the throne from the state. This may be the only opportunity Borno may have for the number three position in the country.

Loyalty is the key word in politics, and Ndume has exhibited this severally. He was the zonal director of the last presidential candidate for the party and he performed well and delivered his state and zone to the party.

When he was the Senate leader he fought for the position of the party which was represented by the bills sponsored by the executive arm of government. He fought the hawks in the leadership of the red chamber that party supremacy remains intact. This much was attested to by the Minister of Transportation, Rorimi Amaechi when he was nominated as a minister. Ndume stood for him, not because Amaechi is his brother but because that was the position of President Muhammadu Buhari. At the end virtually all the bills sponsored by the presidency scaled through throughout his tenure as the senate leader. But the drum beat changed when Ahmed Lawan came to replace him. That was when the hawks in the senate bared their fangs ensuring that most submissions by the president suffered setback. This is not mere saying; the records in the senate can prove me right.

Leadership is not a tea party where one is dished a position as high as the number three man of the nation. There is no leadership post that was given on the platter of gold. You must fight your way through, and that is when you will even appreciate the magnitude of the office you are seeking. Ndume holds the ace. He is loved and respected by most senators despite political divide. He is a rallying point to those who felt aggrieved and felt excesses should be curtailed in the red chamber. Ndume was a factor that all looked unto for direction. The same cannot be said of Lawan who goes with the crowd. And anyone who goes with a crowd can never go beyond the crowd.

Leadership is not for Lilly livered. Boldness is required for anyone to be in that position of Senate  president. Everyone knows that Ndume is as bold as a lion, which goes to confirm the name Ndume. Ndume means lion hearted, a name given to him by his paternal grandmother. He has been living to that name in all his sojourn of political journey.

As a politician, you should be a giver; the hand of a giver is always on top and those who are stingy know themselves. Ndume has proved to many that he gives liberally not only to those who will do him a favour but the needy. And his giving does not discriminate. His house at Apo legislative quarters in Abuja can testify, go there any day but most importantly on Friday and you will see what I am saying. Ndume gives generously and today the people of Borno State descent will tell you that Ndume is a good man. Early last year he bought over 100 cars and distributed to Borno indigenes in Abuja, same time, he also bought 150 motorcycles and gave them out free to his people.

The party will benefit better with Ndume as Senate president because he is a loyal party man, astute politician, workaholic, amiable, generous and easily reachable by all and sundry. He will certainly defend the party policies and remain committed to the principle of legislative and executive dichotomy. Ndume is the man to beat in June. All hail the new Senate president of the 9th Senate, by the grace of God.

–Adebayo is an Abuja-based journalist


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