Why Ndume may emerge Senate President in spite of APC


Die hard followers of politics, especially in the National Assembly, know that intrigues is a reflection of the complicated interests that define activities in the red and green chambers of the legislature.
This becomes acute with respect to the emergence of leadership. For the Senate President, the race between Ahmed Lawan and Ali Ndume, both of whom are of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Yobe and Borno states respectively, is generating more intrigues by the day.
The battle on who lead the 9th Senate appears to be down between Ndume and Lawan, both of whom are from the Northeast, the geo-political zone the ruling APC chose to produce the position. But since the party decided to micro zone the post to Sen. Ahmed Lawan, Ndume has now taken the position of an underdog having refused to step down from the race.
The APC in a haste to cast the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which ruled the country for 16 unbroken years in bad light, is unfortunately discarding lessons from the past in terms of the emergence of national assembly leadership.
The disposition of the APC to discountenance the place of the PDP in the battle ahead, could turn out an albatross for the ruling party. The party needs the opposition party to run the legislature since the Senate President will not be that of the APC alone but of all senators irrespective of party or creed. In fact, it is an office of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not that of a partisan club.
This basic principle of a representative assembly could turn out in favour of Ndume. And of the under dog card comes into play, the gang up could be similar to what played out in 2015 when the incumbent Bukola Saraki trounced the party’s choice to emerge as senate president.
It is in the strategic interest of the PDP not to support the choice of the APC for the senate president. This is because it will be easier to have its interests accommodated in a dark horse rather than the standard bearer of the APC.
Another prospective window of opportunity for Ndume is the Speakership tussle going on in the House of Representatives: just like the Senate, the Speakership has been zoned to Southwest, as a matter of fact, micro zoned to Femi Gbajabiamila, a decision generating discontent among members from North Central region.
Although both Ndume and Ahmed served as members of the green chamber, Ndume served as Minority leader of the House, reaching to the members with members from North-Central geopolitical zone with legitimate grievances could set out a regional agenda.
55 is the simple majority required to emerge as the senate president, and independent-minded candidates like Ndume seem closer to making it with his bargaining power than Ahmed who needs permission from the party. And if the rhetoric from Adams Oshiomhole is anything to rely on, the senate presidency may very well be for underdogs like Ndume to lose.

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