Former Senate Leader and frontline aspirant for the office of Senate President in the 9th National Assembly, Senator Ali Ndume, has dismissed insinuations that he turned down Vice President Yemi Osinbajo intervention to drop his Senate presidency ambition, saying nothing can be farther than the truth.
Sen. Ndume said his recent visit to Prof. Osinbajo centred on his routine briefing to the vice president on the humanitarian issues in the North East, specifically, the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, issues and situation report on the orphanage which according to him, was dear to the vice president.
In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, Sen. Ndume faulted reports that he rebuffed intervention by the vice president to step down for the Senate majority leader, Ahmad Lawan.
“It was misinformation. The truth is, it is usual for me to meet with the vice president to discuss issues of common interest, especially the humanitarian crisis in the North East, of which the vice president has shown exceptional interest in helping out.
“I normally go there to brief him on developments in the region, especially the performance of the orphanage scheme which he initiated in Borno State that is accommodating over 1200 orphans – their education and welfare.
“And then, we also discussed general issues that affect the country as well as the way forward on the humanitarian crisis especially the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and not just in Borno State but also IDPs situations all over the country.”
Ndume said he has a soft spot for the vice president and that apart from his closeness to the number two citizen, he also has a personal relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari and holds both in the highest esteem.
According to him, the insinuation that he was working against the presidency interest was incorrect. “I think it is a spin from a well-known quarter.
“Personally, I’m a committed Buharist. Whether I become the Senate President or not, I will continue to stand by him, defend his policies because I see him as a mentor. And I believe that Mr President has nothing against my aspiration for the office of the Senate President because I sought his permission long before the general election and he gave me his go-ahead. I have not heard anything otherwise from him.
“I believe he will not go against my aspiration, because as he said he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody. And he sticks to that. I am sure that the least he can do is to allow the constitution, which he strongly believes in, and the rule of law to prevail in the emergence of the Senate leadership.
“So, I want to use this opportunity to clear the air as to stop those that are trying to cause disaffection.”