By Henry Umoru
FOR Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, Monday November 21, turned out not to be a good day for him. He must have prepared for the following day’s plenary session of the senate where at least he would have raised his voice and said, ‘’Mr. Senate President, Colleagues, on behalf of the good people of Borno South, I Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume …:” and, thereafter, contribute to the bills or motion of the day.

Ndume, PDP, representing Borno South Senatorial District and Chairman of one of the newly created standing committees, Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, is also a member of three other committees, Appropriation, Aviation as well as Employment, Labour and Productivity.

Prior to his election to the Senate, the embattled Senator was the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives where he was elected on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, before he finally dumped the party for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Senator was Tuesday, arraigned by the State Security Service, SSS before the Wuse Magistrate Court, Abuja on charges of felony and breach of trust, along with one Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, having been arrested the day before.

He was born on 20 November 1959, in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. His father, Alhaji Ali, was a Muslim, while his mother, Magdaliya, was a Christian.

Ndume, 52, started his primary education at Gadamayo Primary School, Gwoza, and Comprehensive Secondary School, Mubi, before proceeding to Kaduna Polytechnic where he obtained the National Diploma (ND) in 1980 and the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Marketing in 1982 and thereafter went on to the University of Toledo, Ohio, USA, where he had a Masters Degree in Accounting and Computer Science in 1990. When he returned to Nigeria, he got employed as a Senior Lecturer at the Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri, Borno State, and later became the Managing Director of Water Ventures Nig. Ltd, also in Maiduguri, until 2003, when he joined politics.

In April 2003, Ndume was elected to the House of Representatives to represent the Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State on the platform of the ANPP. In April 2007, he was re_elected and appointed Minority Leader in the House.

As an ANPP member, he used to vigorously oppose the PDP.

It would be recalled that in an August 2010 interview, Ndume had said, “The PDP, in the last 11 years, has vandalized Nigeria; they have only introduced kidnapping, assassination, militancy, armed robbery, power degeneration and widespread religious crisis”.

Also in a September interview, he said, “The PDP government has been holding the Federal Government for 11 years now and they have done nothing, except cause chaos in Nigeria”. He praised the ANPP’s record in Borno State, especially for building roads and hospitals. However, only three months later (in December 2010), Ndume dumped the ANPP and moved to the PDP he had castigated. When asked why, he said he had not been given a level playing field in the competition with other ANPP aspirants in the contest for the Senatorial ticket. Apparently, he had fallen out with the then Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff. His defection to the PDP was seen as a major blow to the ANPP.

Following Ndume’s defection, Alhaji Sanda Garba, who had been the only aspirant for the South Borno Senate seat in the PDP, stepped down to make way for him as the party’s candidate.

In the election, Ndume won 146,403 votes, beating the ANPP candidate, Dr Asaba Vilita Bashir, who scored 133,734 votes and Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), who got polled 20,414 votes.

When he got to the Senate in June 2011, Ndume had promised his constituents that he would focus on the supply of portable drinking water in each local government of Borno South, providing health care, especially free eye surgery as well as create opportunities that would facilitate access to public, private or self employment for his constituents, especially the youth.

Also on top of his agenda for his people is the issue of education and security especially in Southern Borno and Nigeria at large.

Ndume who has two wives, Aishatu and Maryam, with 10 children, was on August 2, appointed by the Federal Government as a member of the seven_man Presidential Committee on Security Challenges in the North_East Zone of the Country, otherwise known as the Galtimari Committee. Also recall that the committee completed its assignment by studying the Boko Haram crisis and it thereafter submitted its report to the Federal government on 26 September.


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