Nigeria: I'll Ensure Senators - Not Presiding Officers - Control Their 'Resources' - Ndume

Senator Ahmed Lawan.

Borno senator and contender for the position of the Senate President, Ali Ndume, has urged his colleagues to vote according to their conscience.

The inauguration of the ninth assembly is underway and the lawmakers are currently electing presiding officers of the upper chamber.

The All progressives Congress (APC) had endorsed Ahmed Lawan as its preferred candidate for the position and Ovie Omo-Agege as the Deputy Senate President.

Mr Ndume, a member of APC, had acted against the resolution of the party and declared his intention for the position.

He was nominated on the floor of the Senate as the chairman of the ninth senate and thereafter called upon by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, to address his colleagues.

In his remarks, the lawmaker stated part of his nine point agenda as well as areas he would tackle if elected as senate president.

"First is the office of the Senate president. This office is gradually losing its right and prestige because the powers of a senator is virtually taken and controlled by the office of the senate president.

"The second thing that we need to do is to understand that this senate is an arm of government that was deliberately created to work interdependently with the executive without compromising the constitutional responsibility of the Senate.

"As a member of this our great party, it will be our intention to collectively work and move Nigeria to the next level by deepening and enhancing Mr president's agenda on security, infrastructure and fight against corruption," he explained.

Mr Ndume also promised to "fix leakages" in budget as well as provide legal backing for constituency projects.

Other promises he made was contacting former colleagues who can be resourceful, and ensuring that the lawmakers control their resources themselves.

"I intend that we should control our resources not the office of the presiding officers," he said.

He, thereafter, urged the senators present to vote according to their conscience, knowing that their choice is "Allah's choice."

"Distinguished colleagues, the choice is yours and that's why I resisted and insisted that we should make our choices and right now, the choice is Almighty Allah's choice.

"I implore you to vote according to your conscience... "

There are 107 senators in the senate chamber and the voting process is ongoing.

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