With less than 24 hours to the election of principal officers of the 9th assembly, one of the major contenders for the position of the Senate President, Senator Ali Ndume, says he it is too late for him to withdraw from the race.
With the exit of Sen. Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe) from the race for the Senate presidency, there are speculations that Ndume would also step down if summoned for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, while reacting to the development, Ndume on Sunday assured that he would not step down for Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) even if invited to Aso Rock.
On why he cannot withdraw from the race, Ndume said “stepping down at this period will be disastrous to my political career and it’s not necessary because there’s no one and convincing reason for me to stepdown.
“Why are you asking whether I’ve withdrawn or not? I’ve been in the race ab initio; Goje did not at any time formally announce that he was contesting for the Senate presidency.
“It’s too late for me to withdraw; we’ve passed that level because there’s no reason for that. Afterall, give me one reason why I should withdraw.”
On if he would meet with Buhari if summoned, Ndume said: “If Mr. President asks me to meet him is a different matter. He’s my leader, I will honour the invitation but stepping down is another thing.
“If he calls me anytime, I will go and discuss with him, but the issue of Senate presidency is an entirely different thing.
“I do visit the president even without invitation; but stepping down at this period will be disastrous to my political career and it’s not necessary because there’s no one and convincing reason for me to stepdown.”