Nine reasons why Ndume should be the Ninth Senate President

April 15th, 2019

By Abdul Jelil Adebayo

The days are draw­ing near and expec­tation on the rise and very soon the 109 sen­ators will determine who become the senate presi­dent and the other princi­pal officers. The 109 wise men and women will like­ly vote beyond party lines and based on their convic­tion will put the book mak­ers wrong.

Already the con­testers are boasting that they will win convincingly, some even said two third of the egg heads in the senate are queue 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. But for now, our focus is nine rea­sons why Ndume should be elected the senate president in the ninth senate.

I have always said it that all the senators are quali­fied to be the 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 mould­ers and those who are di­rectly involved in the final emergence of the new sen­ate president.

Surprisingly, like David Mark in the 6ht 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 similar dance is trying 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 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.

EFCC boss was anoth­er topic for discussion for another day, Ndume in­sisted that the last had not been heard when even Sara­ki threaten that Magu would not be confirm, Ndume stood his ground, but La­wan has ever remained si­lent been tossed round by the whims and dictates of Saraki jugular
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 what you are seeking. A baby at the back of his mother can never know the battle the mother went through nor the distance covered to achieve victory. And that is why parents especially fa­thers are proud whenever neighbours bring reports of their sons beating his col­leagues in a fight. The father will proudly say, ‘that’s my boy’. But if it is the other way round, the father will ask the mother where she got a weakling from. No position is given, go to the field and test your popularity; and that is when you will even know your worth and value among your colleagues and contemporaries.

A child is made the class representative not because his father brought him to school, but because among other things, he has proven his worth academically and socially. Anyone who thinks he can face the lions usual­ly go to the lion’s den alone and battle to victory and not one that is on the back of one godfather , who when given the position, would not know the value and the pains and sores that the godfather obtained to get that position for him. Such a person would always be ready to be spoon fed, even when he ought to be a man of his own. The third man of Nigeria we all know should not be a baby stripped on his mother’s back but one that has fought the enemies to a standstill. Nobody in politics is given leadership, fight for it and you will val­ue it better.

And who is a team play­er but one that both oppo­nents and friends look unto for direction. 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 third man of Nigeria. Everyone knows that Ndume is 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. We have never heard where Lawan either openly or be­hind the scene opposed the leadership for going against the dictates of the party and the president. Ndume has done it severally.

Large heart, again Ndume has an advantage above his closest rival. He is a cheer­ful giver and he is not pow­er drunk to believe a posi­tion would turn him into a lion. He is reachable by all. And he has his own mind. He does not discriminate of where you come from. Most of his personal staff are not necessarily from his home town, some are even Chris­tian. He cannot be said to be a religious bigot. In his ear­lier life he was a Christian brought up by his Christian mother, while in his second­ary school days, he convert­ed to Islam under the watch­ful eyes of his father.

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 one hundred 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 senate pres­idency because he is 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 principle of legislative and executive dichotomy. Ndu­me is the man to beat in June. All hail the new sen­ate president of the ninth senate, by the grace of God.

Abdul is an Abuja based journalist and can be reached via abduljel­

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