Senator representing Katsina South District in the National Assembly, Abu Ibrahim, has hinted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) may expel Senators Mohammed Ali Ndume and Danjuma Goje, if they go against the party’s decision on the election of the next Senate President.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday in Abuja, Senator Ibrahim said any member of the APC who dares the party’s decision and connives with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to sabotage the party on who becomes Senate President will be shown the way out of the ruling APC.
Though he did not specifically mention the names of the two ranking federal lawmakers, recall that Ndume, on one hand, has declared his intention to contest the position of Senate President in defiance of APC’s endorsement of Senator Ahmed Lawan as its preferred candidate for the job.
Goje, who has been working underground to realise his ambition of leading the ninth National Assembly, is yet to publicly declare his intention.
Goje’s body language also gives him out as willing to go against the party’s choice of Senator Lawan.
However, Senator Ibrahim who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Labour and Productivity noted that, if the APC gives a ticket to an individual and he is assisted with resources to contest and win election, the person must naturally obey the rules of the party at all times.
Ibrahim said, “First of all, we have to remind ourselves that it is a political party which gives an individual the ticket to participate in an election. Once such a ticket is given, it is the caucus of the party in the National Assembly that will determine the emergence of candidate that eventually becomes the leader of the Senate through voting.
“Specifically, the party decides which zone should produce candidate for the position and when such decision is taken every member must abide by that decision. No one can come out of caucus meeting’s voting to say he would not accept the decision of the party on such election process.
“As a loyal party member anyone who dares the party’s decision and come out to connive with PDP to truncate the decision of the party will be expelled from the party.
“As a matter of fact, if the party gives a ticket to an individual and he/she is assisted with resources to contest and win election, the person must naturally obey the rules of the party at all times.
“In democracy, once you choose a party, you must abide by the rules of that party at all times or else you leave. There will be no need for individuals who disobey the party decision and remain in such a party. That is an act of indiscipline which no party should condone.”
Asked if APC can reach out to PDP Senators to seek support for its candidate, he said: “You see, there is no need to reach out to the opposition minority members because APC, as a party, has a clear majority to decide straight away who should become Senate President.
“PDP, as a party, played this game for the whole sixteen years when it was in power between 1999 and 2015. All the PDP members, who are now talking today, including Senators Abaribe, James Manager, Ekweremadu and the likes, know the rules of this game.
“It is sheer mischief, greed and a great insult for any PDP member to now claim that every member in the National Assembly has a right to contest. This is not done anywhere in the world. Not in U.K, U.S.A or anywhere else.
“David Mark was Senate President between 2007 and 2015 when his party was in power and the majority party in Senate, nobody from the opposition parties contested along with him. “Now he thinks numerical strength does not matter again but it did when he was the Senate President. What an absurdity.
“The leadership of the National Assembly now belongs exclusively to APC in the two chambers because the party has a clear majority and does not have to consult the opposition members in order to pick its principal officers. It is never done anywhere in the world and it will not be done this time around.
“The minority leadership in the National Assembly is there for the PDP to choose their leaders. No one is interfering with them in choosing their leadership.
“No one from APC will go there and contest to be a member, so why should anyone from PDP want to contest for majority leadership position? Well, it happened the last time in 2015 when Senator Ekweremadu contested the position of the deputy Senate President. He clearly undermined the APC in that exercise but this time around no one can try that and succeed.”