Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Governor of Borno state, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, Monday evening backed the aspiration of Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, for Presidency of the 9th Senate.
Shettima, governor of the home state of one of the contestants for Senate President, Senator Ali Ndume, who is also a senator-elect from the state, openly declared his support for Lawan in his Abuja residence in the presence of 14 other Senators – elect across the six geo- political zones .
According to him, though Senator Ali Ndume who is also contesting for the position of President of the 9th Senate, is from his state but Lawan being the candidate of their party and in particular, the candidate of President Muhammadu Buhari, is his candidate.
He said: “I hail from the same state with the distinguished Senator Ali Ndume and I appreciate the fact that politics is local. But politics is also national. And I believe the bond that binds us together supercedes whatever we might harbour.
” For the position of President of the 9th Senate, I fully align with the aspiration of my party and that of President Muhammadu Buhari and by the grace of God, we are going to mobilise all our goodwill to see that we are fully onboard.
“We are for Senator Ahmad Lawan, we are for Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and all other senators and other Reps members endorsed by the party. We are for party discipline that allowed everyone to aspire for political offices. We believe that we must respect the party. All of us won under platforms. There is no provision for independent candidate. I am fully onboard, I am for Senator Ahmad Lawan for Senate president”.
When reminded that Ndume claimed to be in the race based on support from the home front, Shettima said: “Well, I am the first citizen of the state, I have made wide consultations with our leaders from Borno before resolving to back Lawan. And most importantly, let’s be brutally honest, Muhammadu Buhari is the single candidate in the country that most of us from the North won election by aligning with him.
“So, we have no basis to undermine him or to disrespect him. Most of us from the North have no basis not to realign ourselves with President Buhari and whoever he wants in whatever positions.
“He has endorsed some of the best hands we have in the system and where we hail from, Senator Lawan is one of the best hands we have. It is a reality. He has been in the National Assembly since 1999, he has the experience, exposure, pedigree, intellect to redefine the process. He is the best among equals. He is level headed, calm, mature and we need such quality of leadership to drive the 9th NASS”, Shettima further said.