With the exit of Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) from the race for the Senate presidency, Sen. Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) is now the remaining contender who will slug it out with Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) for the position of the Number 3 Citizen. In this brief interview, he bared his mind on the unfolding scheming ahead of the inauguration. Have you also withdrawn from the race for the Senate presidency just like Sen. Danjuma Goje did?
Why’re you asking whether I’ve withdrawn or not? I’ve been in the race ab initio; Goje did not at any time formally announce that he was contesting for the Senate presidency. It’s too late for me to withdraw; we’ve passed that level because there’s no reason for that. Afterall, give me one reason why I should withdraw.
You’ve said it severally that you believe the president will not intervene or ask someone to withdraw in favour of another candidate, but here we’re, Senator Goje was with President Muhammadu Buhari and he announced his withdrawal from the race soon after the meeting. Don’t you think this is a departure from what you thought will not happen?
Of course, it’s actually a departure but it will not
We also heard that the president will most likely invite you. Will you honour the invitation?
If Mr President asks me to meet him is a different matter. He’s my leader, I will honour the invitation but stepping down is another thing. If he calls me anytime, I will go and discuss with him; but the issue of Senate presidency is an entirely different thing. I do visit the president even without invitation; but stepping down at this period will be disastrous to my political career and it’s not necessary because there’s no one and convincing reason for me to stepdown.
But don’t you think now that senators Lawan and Goje are together there’s no way you could make any good outing?
You can never tell until the 11th (day of inauguration of the 9th Assembly).
Has Governor Nasir el-Rufai who is the go-between met you at any time on this issue?
No, no. As I said severally, power comes from God and He gives it to whomever He wants at the time He wants. And it’s only on the 11th of June that Allah will decide who’s going to be the Senate president. If He decides it’s me, alhamdu Lillah and if He decides it’s someone else, I’ll still say alhamdu Lillah.