Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South senatorial district, has unveiled a nine-point agenda he hopes to implement if elected as Senate President of the incoming ninth assembly.
Senator Ndume, who was the majority leader of the Senate in the seventh assembly, unveiled his agenda for the incoming Senate, on Tuesday, thereby indicating that he would contest for the Senate Presidency against the wishes of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The APC had last week publicly announced that it has endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan, the current Senate Majority Leader, as its preferred candidate to emerge as the Senate President.
However, Senator Ndume has continuously rejected the stance of the party, insisting that he has a right to vie for the position of the head of the country’s upper legislative chamber.
In the nine-point agenda document released on Tuesday, the Borno senator promised, among other things, to defend the independence of the National Assembly and work closely with the executive in a harmonious and inter-dependent manner “without undermining the principle of separation of powers.”
He also pledged that “constituency projects (would be) more transparent, accountable, efficient and effective” under his tenure as he will ensure that the Constituency Development Bill is passed into law.
Senator Ndume also promised to pass laws that would improve the country’s revenue generation, as well as run a transparent and accountable National Assembly, if elected.
The document read: “We will make laws that will block leakages devise improved means of generating revenue, especially through the amendment and review of our tax laws which will help to reduce reliance on local and foreign loans to finance budget.
“We will run the 9th Senate transparently, through open accountability with full participation of all senators. For example, we will transfer the approving powers of the privileges of the senators like foreign travels, allowances to Senate services committee or a new committee to be known as “ways and means committee.’”
Senator Ndume also pledged to work in line with the interest of the ruling APC, adding that his dispensation would uphold party principles and ensure the realisation of the “Next Level” agenda of the incoming presidency.
In its reaction, the APC said it would take a look into Senator Ndume’s action and take a decision.
Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC National Publicity Secretary, disclosed that negotiations are currently ongoing and expressed hope that the bickering over the Senate leadership would be resolved.
“The party will look into it and a decision will be taken. Remember that consultation is still ongoing,” Issa-Onilu told the Punch.