Senator Ali Ndume, former Senate Leader, has promised to restructure the Office of the Senate President by streamlining its activities and reducing unnecessary privileges which would, in turn, make the office less attractive.
He disclosed this on Sunday when he rolled out a nine-point agenda for the Office of Senate President in the incoming National Assembly.
With the declaration, Ndume is set to defy the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) which has endorsed Senator Ahmad Lawan for the number three position in the next political dispensation.
The lawmaker, who said he once notified President Muhammadu Buhari of his desire to vie for the number three position, added that the president gave him his blessings.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Ndume, who currently represents Borno South in the Senate, objected to the choice of Lawan as the next Senate President by the APC leadership, saying the move was unconstitutional.
Releasing his agenda for the 9th Senate Presidency, Ndume, who has been in the National Assembly since 2003, promised to improve upon the performance of the 8th Senate.
Promising to uphold the independence of the legislative arm of government, the third time Senator promised to “work harmoniously and inter-dependently with the executive without undermining the principle of separation of power”.
The lawmaker, who said that the North East deserved an articulate representative as Senate President, added that the region had suffered huge devastation with property worth over N2 trillion destroyed by insurgents.
He said there was need for an articulate candidate from the North East geopolitical zone as a Senate President to galvanise global support for the restoration of the North East.
He said he was qualified to play that role, adding that his record in the National Assembly could attest to that.
Ndume said if given the opportunity, he would not compromise the independence of the legislature.
The lawmaker said his chances of becoming the next Senate President were bright, adding that he enjoyed robust relationship with his colleagues (senators-elect).
Ndume said he had been engaging his colleagues, assuring them that he wanted to be President of Senate and Senators’ President.
He maintained that God had been so kind to him as a “son of nobody that became somebody without knowing anybody”, adding that the onus was on him to reciprocate God’s favour by serving mankind.
“The 9th Senate will do things differently. And that’s why I set out my nine-point agenda of what I want to do to reposition the Senate.”
On fears that the voting process could work against him if the secret ballot system was jettisoned, he said: “The Senate’s rule remains open secret ballot and we will adhere strictly to that when we reconvene in June.”