The All Progressives Congress (APC) members of the Senate have removed Ali Ndume as their leader.
The development was conveyed by Senate President Bukola Saraki who read a letter he claimed was sent to him by the caucus.
The caucus elected to replace Mr. Ndume with Ahmed Lawan, the letter read by Mr. Saraki said.
Addressing journalists after the Senate’s plenary, Mr. Ndume said the decision of the caucus to remove him as leader shocked him.
He said he was oblivious of what led to the decision or where the meeting was held to remove him.
Mr. Ndume’s predicament might be connected with the rejection by the Senate of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Mr. Ndume had claimed the Senate did not reject the official, prompting a counter reaction by Senate spokesperson, Aliyu Abdullahi.
Mr. Ndume, who hails from Borno State, alongside Mr. Magu, most likely is being punished for disagreeing with the Senate over the way the EFCC acting chairman’s nomination was handled by the upper legislative chamber.
Following the decision of the APC caucus to effect leadership change, Mr. Saraki might announce Mr. Lawan as the new Senate Leader at the next sitting of the lawmakers.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday, said it welcomes the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan as the Senate Leader.
The APC in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, said it welcomed the development in the Senate, which led to the replacement of Ndume with Lawan.
The statement said the party views the change as a “concrete expression of faith by the APC Senate Caucus in our efforts to resolve the lingering issues that have trailed the election of the Senate leadership. We believe this is a major step forward in our efforts to reunite the various interest groups in that Senate election, thereby presenting a common legislative front for our great party.
“We are particularly delighted that the consultations that were initiated towards the end of 2015 between the party caucuses in the national assembly and the party executives as well as other leading stakeholders of our party has yielded this results and the Senate has demonstrated its willingness to finally submit to the will of the party in this regard.
“It should be recalled that soon after the issue of election of the Senate occurred, the party leadership had resolved that Senator Lawan be compensated with the position of the Senate Leader. Sadly, that directive was not fully complied with at the time. But we are happy to see this change effected, which represents a significant progress in our efforts to build a strong and united party. With this development therefore, we are confident that the issues arising from the elections in the Senate in 2015 have been put to rest.
“We thank Senator Ndume for his service and sacrifice to our party, which would not be forgotten. We also congratulate Senator Lawan, the new Senate Leader on his election by the APC caucus in the Senate. We hope he will use his vast experience and knowledge to enhance legislative works to further our party’s agenda of change.
“We assure Nigerians that we will continue to work assiduously under the leadership and guidance of President Muhammed Buhari to resolve any other pending issues that may have affected our party at different levels. However, with this latest development, APC has demonstrated its resilience and capacity to resolve its internal differences in order to realise the true change and transformation that we promised Nigerians.”