Senator Ali Ndume has said that President Bola Tinubu told him that Senator Godswill Akpabio is his preferred candidate for the President of the 10th Senate.
“The President told me that his preferred candidate is Akpabio and I should lead the campaign,” Ndume said on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday.
The lawmaker representing Borno South at the Senate added that Tinubu also told him to personally lead the campaign for Akpabio’s Senate President ambition.
He expressed confidence that the President won’t change his stance on the leadership of the 10th Senate.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had in May zoned four principal positions for the 10th National Assembly and named elected lawmakers to occupy each position.
The zoning arrangement is as follows: Senate President – South-South, Senator Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); and Deputy Senate President – North West, Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano).
Others are the Speaker of the House of Representatives (North-West) – Abass Tajudeen (Kaduna); and Deputy Speaker, South East-Hon. Ben Kalu (Abia).
According to the lawmaker who has been in the National Assembly for 20 years, out of the 109 elected Senators in the red chamber, 75 have queued behind the ambition of Akpabio as of today.
Admitting strong competition from the camp of the former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who is another top contender for the position of the Senate President, Ndume said the Akpabio camp has all the advantages.
“As at today I am telling you we have 75 senators. All advantages are on our side. We have the support of the party, we have the support of the president, and most importantly we have the support of most of the senators. These senators signed up to endorse our programme,” he said.
While maintaining confidence in the ability of the Akpabio camp to carry the day during the election, the Borno lawmaker did not rule out surprises as he acknowledged that people can change their mind at the last minute.
“Let’s say that some people will jump over at the last minute, that can happen, but I am very confident. I don’t want to be overconfident because people can change their mind, but we have a better candidate.
“We have two candidates that are in front now, that is Yari and Akpabio and our candidate has all the advantages over the other candidate, politically and intellectually, we have an added advantage,” Ndume stated.