Why We Picked Lawan Ahead Of Ndume For Senate Presidency – Buhari’s Aide
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, has explained why the presidency was backing Sen. Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) ahead of Sen. Ali Ndume (Borno South) for the position of Senate President.
Recall that Ndume had vowed to contest for the Senate Presidency despite the endorsement of Lawan by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Enang however disclosed that the presidency decided to thrown its weight behind Lawan because of his seniority over Ndume in the National Assembly.
He said that Lawan first got elected into the National Assembly in 1999 as a member of the House of Representatives before moving to the Senate in 2003, while Ndume got elected in 2003.
Speaking on lessons learnt from the 2015 leadership issues in the Senate and House of Representatives, Ndume said:
“We have learnt lessons and we have taken every step to avoid the 2015 scenario and this is handled by the party and the government is not keeping his eyes away because the President is the leader of the party.
“As part of that carefulness, there have been consultations, lobbying, and interactions across party lines with the executive being present in the caucuses where the party has taken most of these decisions and where the members of the NASS have taken a decision as to who they want to have as their leaders.
“As of today, the returning and members, as well as members-elect, have met and taken a decision that, in the best tradition of the parliament, it is the next highest-ranking member of the party that returns that normally goes up to be the leader.
“As of today, Ahmed Lawan is the highest and longest-serving member of the NASS in Nigeria. He was elected to the House of Reps in 1999 and he served till 2003. From 2003 to 2007, he was elected to the Senate and he has served there for three terms of four years making 12 years.
“Ndume came in 2003 to the NASS.”
Enang however admitted that the presidency and the APC did not explain the point to Ndume.