A former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his Gombe State counterpart, Senator Danjuma Goje were among the 39 senators that signed the sack of Senator Ali Ndume as the leader of the Senate, a document obtained by our correspondent has revealed.
Ndume was sacked on Tuesday following a letter by the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus, which was read by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Our correspondent reports that 39 out of the 63 senators who are of the APC appended their signatures to the statement sacking Ndume.
The list of the senators that signed it was contained in the Votes and Proceedings of Tuesday, which was adopted yesterday.
A copy of the Votes and Proceedings tagged “Vote of no confidence/notice of change of leadership” seen by our correspondent showed that Senator Dino Melaye, Senator Ibrahim D. Abdullahi, Senator Francis Alimikhena, Senator Suleiman Nazif, Senator Donald Alasoadura, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, Senator Mustapha Bukar, Senator Rafiu Adebayo, Senator Jibrin Barau, Senator Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai, Senator Usman Nafada and Senator Kabiru Marafa signed that Ndume should go.
Others are Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Senator Tijjani Kaura, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, Senator Ubali Shittu, Senator Shehu Sani, Senator Magnus Abe, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Senator Umaru Kurfi, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, Senator Joshua Dariye, Senator Ibrahim Gobir and Senator Shaba Lafiagi.
Also on the list are Senator Isa Hamma Misau, Senator Babajide Omoworare, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, Senator Kabiru Gaya, Senator Mallam Ali Wakili, Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima, Senator Sabo Mohammed, Senator Ahmed Lawan, Senator Olarenwaju Tejuoso, Senator David Umaru, Senator Abdullahi Gumel, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu and Senator Binta Masi.
During the adoption of the Votes and proceedings, there was a mild drama as Senator Kabiru Marafa, who moved for the adoption reaffirmed his call on the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, to decamp from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC.
Moving for the adoption, Marafa said, “I move for the adoption and appeal to the Deputy Senate President to heed to my call.”
Seconding, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa) also asked Ekweremadu to decamp to APC.
“I second the adoption and urge the Deputy Senate President to as a matter of urgency decamp to the APC,” he also said.
However, in approving the Votes and Proceedings, Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, dodged the call on him to leave the PDP for the APC.
This is the first time in the Senate under this dispensation that a senator from the opposition clinched the position of deputy Senate president.
“I hereby adopt the Votes and Proceedings with all other issues removed,” Ekweremadu said, apparently saying he still belongs to the PDP.
I offered thrice to resign — Ndume
Immediately after the adoption, Senator Ali Ndume, raised a point of order and expressed reservation over the way he was removed.
“I want to thank you my colleagues for the confidence you had in me. I thank God that throughout my service as the Senate leader, most of the times my colleagues casually said ‘leader, we are proud of you.’
“I was not found wanting for anything that I know. Because of the unity of this Senate that is more important than myself, thrice I offered to resign if that will bring peace but I believe that God’s time is the best.
“You (referring to Ekweremadu) are one of those that even warned me to stop saying that I should resign but yesterday (Tuesday) I was not around when a change of leadership was announced. In fact, if the number of those that lost confidence in me is not up to this number and I am made to know, I will resign,” he said.
Ndume, who said he was not contacted before his ouster, added that “at least you should be confronted with allegations on what you have done and be given the chance to defend yourself.
“This Senate is an institution that we must protect; how do you protect the institution? It is through obeying the rules and tradition. If it is Ndume today and it’s okay, it may be Ekweremadu tomorrow, God forbid,” he said.
Ekweremadu, in his remarks, thanked Ndume for his service to the Senate and for congratulating the new leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan.
“You will continue to serve at different capacities and we would all continue to work together with you,” he said.
Senator Marafa, however, raised a point of order, countering the statement of Ndume on violation of the Senate rules. He said the removal of Ndume was done in line with the rules of the Senate.