Senator Ndume challenges removal as senate leader

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume has challenged the process leading to his removal as leader of the majority party, the APC, in the Nigerian senate.

In what seemed like a farewell speech on the floor of the red chamber at the resumed plenary on Wednesday, Senator Ndume questioned the rationale behind the loss of confidence in him by his colleagues, even when he did not commit any known offence.

According to the former Senate Leader, “So, am going to thank especially my colleagues for the confidence you had in me. I thank God that throughout my service as the leader, I was not found wanting for anything that I know. Most of the times, my colleagues would casually say, leader, we are proud of you, and with what has happened, I believe God’s time is the best,” he affirmed.

Senator Ali Ndume also revealed that he had attempted to resign his position as the senate majority party leader in order to sustain the peaceful atmosphere in the Institution but on three occasions the Senate leadership prevailed on him not to do so because of the confidence most of his colleagues had in him.

“Yesterday I was not around, changed of leadership was announced. In fact, if the number of those that lost confidence in me was not up to this, and am made to know, I would resign, because I did not become a senate leader in order to lose the confidence of any one of you, and that’s why am concerned about the loss of confidence.  

As far as I know, I have not done anything but just like that, the senate caucus has the right to say they have lost confidence in me, and I think that should be on record now that I have said it that I have not done anything wrong. So my colleagues, about 40 of them signed that they have lost confidence in me but I should have been given the opportunity of knowing that I have lost the confidence of my colleagues. So, even if it is only 10 of you members, then I have no moral ground to continue to lead the senate because that means there are some people that are not with me.”

Institutional Protection

Senator Ali Ndume who was the Senate Leader for 18 months and 11 days, admonished his colleagues to sustain the habit of protecting the institution of the Nigerian Senate by ensuring that every rule and tradition of the red chamber are strictly obeyed.

“I want to say that, if today just like that, without telling somebody and he goes out, if it is Ndume today, and it is alright, it may be, God forbid, Ekwerenmadu tomorrow,” he warned.

However, order 32 (6) of the Senate standing rules which talks about change of leadership, states that, “after due notice of the Senate, each party has the right to change its Leader or Whip, provided that the change is made by majority of the Senators of the party in the Senate”.