Senate presidency: Osinbajo didn’t ask me to step down — Ndume

A contender for the senate presidency, Mohammed Ali Ndume, has said there was no time that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo asked him to drop his ambition.

Sen. Ndume recently met with the vice president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Since then, there had been rumours that the number two citizen asked him to drop his ambition, but that he turned it down.

However, Ndume, a former senate leader, said his meeting with Osinbajo centred on his routine briefing to the vice president on the humanitarian issues in the North East, specifically, the IDPs issues and situation report on the orphanage, which according to him,  was dear to the vice president.

In a statement in Abuja yesterday, Ndume faulted reports that he rebuffed entreaties by the vice president to step down for the Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan.

“It was a 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 that is accommodating over 1,200 orphans; their education and welfare.

“We also discussed general issues that affect the country, as well as the way forward on the humanitarian crisis, especially the IDPs, and not just in Borno State, but also IDPs’ situations all over the country,” he said.

Ndume said he had a soft spot for the vice president and that apart from his closeness to him, he also had personal relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari and held both with high esteem.

“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 elections and he gave me 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,” Ndume said.

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