Governorship Is Not For Old Men – Ndume

Senate Leader, Ali Ndume
Former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume

Former Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, has said that he is not interested in running for the Borno State governorship position as he would be too old for that by the time the 2019 general election comes around.

He said that the challenges and pressure that accompany the governorship seat, especially in a state like Borno, was not what somebody who is 60 or above could handle.

Ndume said the State needs a vibrant and innovative person who can withstand the enormous challenges that the office require.

Fielding questions from newsmen in Maiduguri, the State capital on reasons he had decided not to run for the State’s top job, the ousted Senate majority leader said he does not envy anyone who want to be the governor of the State.

“If I do not envy anyone who wants to be the governor of Borno, I would not on my own struggle to be the governor of Borno.

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But in a tone that showed the lawmaker may still change his mind, he said: “I will not do that but if God gives you responsibility, he is the one that created you, it becomes a different thing.

“He will give you the strength, the wisdom to take it.

“But I personally feel anyone that is approaching 60 years should not go and contest for governorship of any state, not to talk of Borno.

“Because governing any state especially Borno as it is now needs a young person that is vibrant and strong and can withstand the pressure of the office.

According to Ndume, he is 58 years old at the moment and by the time his tenure winds up in the Senate, “it will be late for me to be a governor.”

The lawmaker however warned governors and public office holders to be mindful of the hereafter when their actions and inactions will be judged by God.

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He said every governor would have to answer before his maker for those who for instance go to bed without a meal or die in his state because of his inaction, adding that State Chief Executives would be held more accountable than representatives.

“I am 58 and look up to the hereafter. This our public service has a responsibility and we have a lot of questions to answer from God,” Ndume said.

“Right now I am a representative, nothing is given to me in terms of material resources or money for my people that I would account for.

“All I am given now is my salary and allowances and the allowances is not for my people, the one that is thought to be for the people is the constituency allowance which is meant for the establishment of constituency office and never to be distributed to the people.

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“I feel religiously the responsibility there is less. But the governor has the task of keeping in trust and dispensing the resources of the state and it is expected you fulfill your constitution and religious requirements.

“And you will as a governor answer to your God anyone that goes to bed in your state without food when you have the resources to provide for him food.”

Ndume was until last week the third in command in the Nigerian Senate, but he was surreptitiously eased out office by the All Progressives Congress caucus in the Senate and was replaced by Ahmed Lawan.

He criticised the manner in which he was removed, as according to him, the action was taken behind his back when he had gone out of the Senate chamber briefly to observe his Muslim prayers.