By Aishat Salihu
As today, Tuesday the 11th of May, 2019 marks the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is evident that the rigorous open ballot system as declared by the court for the election on the floor of the red chambers will be conducted and concluded soon in order for the emergence of the new Senate President.
The major contenders for the red chambers’ top job are Senator Ahmad Ibrahim and Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume
A quick exposé and juxtaposition of the two lawmakers will give an insight to the populace of the portfolio of the emerging leaders of the 9th Assembly.
Senator Lawan (Yobe North Constituency of Yobe State) represents the ruling the All Progressive Congress (APC). He became a senator in 2007.
Born in 1959, he received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Maiduguri, a Master’s degree in remote sensing from Ahmadu Bello University and a doctorate degree in remote sensing/GIS. from Cranfield University, UK.
Elected to the House of Representatives for the northern state of Yobe in 1999, at different times Lawan chaired the House Committees on education and agriculture.
Lawan was elected to the Senate in 2007. In 2008, he was a member of the National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Constitution Review. In 2009, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Lawan initiated and sponsored the Desertification Control Commission Bill.
Lawan ran for reelection in Yobe North Senatorial District on the ANPP platform in the 9 April 2011 elections. He won with 92,799 votes, trailed by Hassan Kafayos Hussaini of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with 76,960 votes.
After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, June 6, 2019, Senator Danjuma Goje stepped down for Lawan.
Ndume, meanwhile, was a member of the Federal House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011. He was elected to the Senate for Borno South, Borno State, Nigeria in April 2011 running on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ticket.
Mohammed Ali Ndume was born on 20 November 1959 in Gwoza Town of Borno State. He attended Gadamayo Primary School in Gwoza and completed in 1972. Ndume proceeded to Comprehensive Secondary School Mubi in then Gongola now Adamawa State from 1973 to 1978 where he obtained Secondary School Certificate and WASC and passed with Division One.
He completed his Ordinary National Diploma (OND) in 1980 and Higher National Diploma (HND) in Marketing in 1982 at Upper Credit level. He joined the famous Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri as a lecturer in 1983 rising to the rank of a Senior Lecturer. In 1988, Ndume was awarded the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Post-Graduate Scholarship to study Business and Computer Education at the University of Toledo Ohio, United States of America and graduated with a B.Ed and M.Ed in 1990 and was awarded Magna Cum Laude academic honour.
In 2003, Ndume was elected to represent his people for the seat of Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives on the platform of ANPP: a position he occupied from 2003 – 2011. On the inauguration of the sixth (6th) Assembly in 2007, he was unanimously elected as the Minority Leader and served creditably. Due to the political disagreements in his Party in his home State of Borno, he left the ANPP.
Ndume served as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on MDGs In the (7th) Senate and remained vibrant and active in the political landscape. Senator Ndume has moved several Motions and sponsored many Bills which are at various stages of passage in the Parliament notable amongst them is the Constituencies Development Fund Bill and Electoral Act Amendment Bill to enable IDPs vote in 2015 elections. Political alignments and re-alignments saw him forming nPDP with 20 of his colleagues which eventually coalesced into APC, the present ruling party. He was re-elected in the 2015 Senatorial elections and is presently the Leader of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the 8th Assembly Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume is married to Justice Aisha and Hajia Maryam and blessed with 10 children.
On his Senate leadership, Ali Ndume has been the Senate Majority leader in the Nigerian Senate House after the 2016 elections and impeached by the APC Senators on 10 January 2017.