SAN FRANCISCO, January 11, (THEWILL) – Sacked Majority Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, has lamented that he was slyly removed from his position, disclosing that the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, may be the next to lose his position of leadership in the upper legislative chamber.
Ndume’s removal was announced on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while reading a letter from the All Progressives Congress, APC, Caucus in the Upper Chamber which replaced the Borno-born lawmaker with Senator Ahmed Lawan, representing Yobe north.
Speaking during plenary on Wednesday, Ndume decried the manner he was removed, stating that, “If today, just like that, without telling somebody and he goes out (is removed) … If it is Ndume today and he goes out, it may be, God forbid, Ekweremadu tomorrow”.
This was as he told newsmen that he had left the chamber to pray and handed over to Bala Na-Allah, only to return in 10 minutes to find out he had been ousted.
According to him, “I was leading the business of the Senate and when it was 12.45, as usual, I asked my deputy to sit in for me while I go to pray.
“On coming back, I discovered that the session was over and one of your colleagues [referring to journalists] approached me and said ‘leader, what happened?’ I said ‘what happened?’ And he said I had been removed.
“I didn’t know that there was change of leadership because I was not there. I went for prayers and I didn’t know what actually happened and I cannot say much than this.”
Although Ndume accepted the decision of the APC lawmakers to remove him as their leader and thanked them for the opportunity giving to him, he insisted that he was not given a fair hearing by his colleagues.
He stated that this was more so because he had attempted to resign from the position for the sake of unity among the senators thrice before his removal.
Recall that Ndume and Saraki took opposite sides when the Senate declined to confirm the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. While the Senate, led by Saraki, declined to confirm Magu, Ndume told journalists that this was not the case.