Mohammed Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, officially entered the race to succeed Ahmad Lawan as Senate President in the 10th National Assembly on Wednesday.
Ndume declared his intention to run for the post in an interview with reporters in Abuja.
Of all those who have declared their intention to run for Senate President, Ndume is the first to lay out a plan for how he plans to run the red chambers if elected.
He did, however, advocate that the election be held without the zoning restrictions that the party had planned, but he also stated that his ambition would be heavily influenced by the proposed zoning of the position and the fairness of such zoning arrangement by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a loyal party man.
Ndume, who represents Borno South in the red chamber, said: “My decision to contest for the position of Senate President would be largely determined by the position of the party (APC), and the fairness of such arrangements.
Ndume who had vied for the position of Senate President against the incumbent Lawan, in 2019, wondered why the APC was insisting on a zoning arrangements for the National Assembly positions when it didn’t do the same during the presidential primary
He said: “The APC leadership did not take any position during the presidential primary election. Aspirants from all the geopolitical zones participated in the exercise.
“Senators should be allowed to choose a competent person among them that has adequate legislative and managerial experiences to lead the Senate.
“Zoning may not lead to the emergence of the best person for the job, that is why the decision to choose the Senate presiding officers must be the sole responsibility of the senators.”
As part of his 10-Point Agenda, according to a statement, he promised to put Nigeria and Nigerian’s interest first, if elected even as he said the issue of political inclusion and power devolution would be paramount in his agenda.
As the Senate President, he said he would “be one, not first among equals” and promised to work harmoniously and inter-dependently with the executive arm of government.
Ndume also said the relationship between the legislature and the executive and judicial arms
of would be cordial without undermining the Principles of Separation of Powers.
He pledged that the Senate under his leadership would make new laws and review existing ones to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
He also promised that the Senate would initiate legislation that would tackle security, welfare of citizens, create jobs, fight corruption, improve education, boost the economy and ensure infrastructure development.
He said he would work to ensure business and entrepreneurship development as well as achieve health care development.
“We would amend and review existing tax laws to generate more income, block leakages and ensure transparency through open accountability with full participation of all senators
“We will protect and improve the welfare, rights and privileges of National Assembly workers.
“We will inculcate es-spirit de-corps in order to utilise the experiences of former members by engaging them as consultants to members and committees in order to tap from their experiences.
“We will set a timeline for confirmations, passage of bills especially budgets and executive requests.
“The Constituency Development Bill will be passed to ensure transparency, equity, fairness, efficiency and effectiveness of constituency projects,” Ndume said.