By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – AHEAD of the inauguration of the 9th Senate and election of Presiding officers, strong indications emerged, Tuesday, that crisis looms in the family of All Progressives Congress, APC, as former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume ( APC Borno South), said that he was prepared to date the Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee, NWC and go ahead with the actualization of contesting for the position of Senate President.
According to Ndume, he was not in any way perturbed by the endorsement of his successor, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) by the leadership of the APC last week, just as he vowed that he was forging ahead to contest for the position.
As part of moves to contest the Senate President position, Ndume who has even gone ahead to unfold his 9- Point agenda and blueprint for the 9th Senate when he finally becomes the Senate President, however, promised to improve upon the performance of the 8th Senate by making the Office of the Senate President less attractive through reduction of unnecessary privileges attached to the office.
Ndume who promised to uphold the Independence of the Legislative arm of government, however, hoped to “work harmoniously and inter-dependently with the Executive without undermining the principle of Separation of Power.”
Not deterred by the action of the party about the position, a week after he kicked against the position of the party, Ndume at the National Assembly yesterday, rolled out his legislative agenda for the position in Pamphlets distributed to journalists where he said that he would prioritize and ensure the passage of the Constituency Development Bill to make “Constituency projects more transparent, accountable, efficient and effective.”
According to him, with the cooperation and synergy of other senators-elect, the Senate will agree on timeline for confirmation, passage of bills especially the annual budgets which he said will not exceed 90 days from the day of submission.
He said, “To make laws that will block leakages, I will devise improved means of generating revenue, especially through the amendment and review of our tax laws which will help reduce reliance on local and foreign loans to finance budget.
“To run the 9th Senate transparency, through open accountability with full participation of all Senators, 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 .”
According to Ndume, as Senate President, he would uphold the party’s principles and policies, and that his Presidency will make laws and review existing ones to be in tandem with APC’s Next Level Agenda for Nigeria.