Nastura Ashir Sharif, founder of the Arewa Citizens Action for Change and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Coalition of Northern Groups has joined the fray for the selection of leaders of the 9th Senate, warning the Senators against falling for Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s antics.
Sharif, a renowned Pan-Northern activist and advocate of one united, strong and peaceful Nigeria, made the remarks Wednesday while responding to questions by journalists in Kaduna.
Hinting at a grand plot by Bola Tinubu to gain undue control of the National Assembly after securing absolute monopoly of the presidency, said it would be undignifying for Senators to fall for that trap.
Specifically, Sharif kicked against the purported endorsement of Senator Ahmad Lawan as president of the 9th Senate by what he called, a conspiratorial section of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their collaborators in the presidency.
He said while he may not hold anything against Senator Lawan as a person, he is nevertheless not in agreement with his “brand of houseboy politics which at all times leans in favour of the antics of Tinubu and his ilk even if they may harm northern interest and our collective nationhood.
Shariff described as disappointing for people who have mandates to represent their constituencies in the Senate to appear not to be capable of exercising the freedom to select their own leaders without prodding by self-serving outside influences.
He categorically warned the Senators particularly those from the North to resist the attempt by APC chairman Adams Oshiomhole to browbeat them into doing Tinubu’s bidding or risk a mass people’s anger back home.
As alternative to Ahmad Lawan, whom Shariff insists is no more than Tinubu’s political handbag, he said Senator Ali Ndume is preferably more competent, more independent minded “and eminently more qualified to be considered for the job.”
He said his preference for Ndume is not informed by any personal acquaintance but in consideration of the man’s record of integrity, independent-mindedness and strength of character which he displayed by standing against the propaganda that the murderous insurgency in the South East had been difeated.
“Ndume was the only North East politician with the courage to tell the country the truth that the insurgents were still in firm control of several local government areas contrary to the propaganda by federal and state authorities that they have been completely routed.
“It is such strong, upright and selfless people that Nigeria needs as leaders. Leaders who will speak and stand firm in the defence of the collective interest of their people,” Shariff said.