….as PDP endorses Ndume, Bago
By Mary Amodu
Some members of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), gunning for principal positions on Monday shunned a meeting conveyed by their party to ‘seal’ the fate of President and party’s choice – Sen. Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila as leaders of the ninth Assembly.
In absential is Lawan’s main contender, Ali Ndume; Gbajabiamila’s main rival, Umar Bago and other Senators-elect who are contesting deputy Senate President- Kabiru Gaya, Orji Kalu and Francis Alimikhena.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the meeting, the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole disclosed that one of the leading contenders for speakership position, Mrs Nkeiru Onyejeocha has dropped her ambition to support choice of the party.
Oshiomhole noted the party is still urging Senator Ali Ndume to drop his ambition for Lawan, adding that the party knows all those who have stepped down are qualified but decided to show respect to the party.
He said, “APC caucus in the National Assembly, that is, both the Senate and House of Representatives as well as all APC and members of the National Working Committee are meeting now. It is basically to firm up all the conversations and lobbies that have been going on, we have ended up the meeting with specific conclusion.
“We have all agreed as a caucus to endorse distinguished Senator Ahmed Lawan as the APC candidate for the President of the Senate and Senator Omo-Agege as the deputy senate president and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as the Speaker.
“All those that have stepped down as a mark of respect for the party leadership are all qualified and they are all unanimous to back the candidates of the party
“Well, for now we are still trying to talk to Ali Ndume. I believe that he is a democrat. He understands that in a democracy, it is important t that he listens to the voice of the majority and accept the decision of the majority.
“I mean it is all about sacrifice. Like I said, I do not know of anybody who has been elected who is not qualified to become the Senate President, and senators are equal. For those who have stepped down, they have done that in recognition of the fact that at a particular point in time, only one person will emerge and I believe that my dear friend Sen. Ali Ndume will not be a lone ranger.
“He will abide by the spirit of the party and he will respect our overall leader who is the president of our country, who is also the leader of our party. I do not have any fear, I believe Ndume will accept the will of the majority.”