Chances of Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC Yobe North) of clinching the Presidency of the 9th Senate at inauguration in June, brightened Monday, when Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State threw his weight behind his aspiration.
Governor Shettima who is one of the three Senators-elect from Borno 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.
He particularly said though Senator Ali Ndume who is also contesting for the same position is from his state, Lawan being the candidate of their party and the candidate of President Muhammadu Buhari, was his candidate and that of other Senator from the State (Abubakar Kyari) .
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 bind us together supercedes whatever we might harbour.
“For the position of President of the 9th Senate, I fully aligned with the aspiration of my party and that of President Muhammadu Buhari and by the grace of God, we are going to mobilize all our goodwill to see that we are fully onboard.
“We are for Senator Ahmad Lawan, we are for Honourable 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 Senator Ndume claimed to be in the race based on support from the home front , Governor 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 Senator Ahmed 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 re-align 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 Ahmed 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 amongst equals. He is level headed, calm, matured and we need such quality of leadership to drive the 9th Senate”.
Before Shettima’s open support for Lawan, Borno Elders in a statement issued by their spokesman in Abuja, Alhaji Yakubu Umar, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to support Ndume.
According to them, the President had before the general elections, gave Ndume green light for the contest and should not abandon him in the middle of the race.