Senate presidency : Aspirants luring senators-elect with money – Ndume
Ali Ndume, the Senator representing Borno South and Director-General of the Godswill Akpabio campaign organization, has voiced his concerns about the encroachment of money politics in the race for the presidency of the 10th Senate.
The outspoken senator said the race was being overshadowed by the influence of money rather than merit, experience, and vision for the future of the legislative body.
Speaking during an Arise TV interview on Tuesday, Ndume however absolved Akpabio of aspirants’ reliance on money in wooing other senators-elect to for vote them.
“The unfortunate thing happening these days is that most of the people that are talking about the leadership (aspirants), one of them was on your programme, (are running the race based on money.
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“But in our camp, it’s not about money, it’s about convincing our colleagues that we need to have somebody from South-South as the Senate President, coupled with the fact that the president-elect has him (Akpabio) as his preferred candidate.
“So, it is not about money on our side. It is the other candidates that are talking about money. The only qualification that they are displaying is the amount of money that they tell senators-elect that they can give them.
“People are talking about figures. Nobody has approached me about money but definitely money is going around. Some are talking about 10, 20, 30, 40 and even more than that. Some are even boasting that they’re going to give every Senator up to $200,000. Honestly, that is very unfortunate,” Ndume said.
When asked if Akpabio was not also luring lawmakers-elect to back his candidacy, Ndueme said “if we’re talking about the money politics, then we would not be campaigning, we will not be going round, talking to stakeholders and talking to our colleagues and making them understand that money should not be the major determinant.
“The important consideration as I stated is supposed to be about capacity and capability and most importantly, equity and fairness.”
Recall that the election of principal officers will take place after the expected inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on June 13, 2023.
The battle for the number three citizen position appears to be between Akpabio from the South-South, Orji Uzor Kalu from the South East and Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari from the North West region all members of the ruling APC.
While the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and APC’s National Working Committee were reported to have endorsed Akpabio’s candidacy, Kalu and Yari have insisted on pursing their separate ambitions for the seat.