By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed support for Sen. Ali Ndume for the position of the President of the Senate of the 9th National Assembly (NASS).
The party in a statement issued by its National Secretary, Sen. Umar Tsauri, early on Tuesday also endorsed Mr Umar Bago for the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Tsauri said that the endorsement was arrived at after very extensive consultations with critical stakeholders ahead of the inauguration of the 9th NASS.
“The final resolution on Sen. Ndume and Bago was reached at the end of a decisive meeting of members of the National Working Committee, party leaders, state governors as well as senators and members-elect on the platform of the PDP.
“This decision is in the best interest of the nation in line with our party’s determination to deepen democracy, ensure a strong and independent legislature, strict compliance with the principle of separation of powers as well as constitutional checks and balances in the polity.”
“All senators and members-elect on the platform of the PDP are to be guided accordingly,” he said.
Ndume from Borneo is running against Sen. Ahmed Lawan from Yobe, who is the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Bago, a three-time member of the House of Representatives, will contest against Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, also chosen by the APC leadership.
Lawan and Gbajabiamila became the leader of the Senate and leader of the House of Representatives respectively in the 8th NASS after losing contests for the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House in spite of the endorsement of the party in 2015.