Ali Ndume, lawmaker representing Borno South at the Nigerian Senate says he will become the next Senate President in the 9th upper legislative chamber.
Mr Ndume belonging to the All Progressive Congress (APC) stated this while addressing reporters in Lagos on Monday.
With his interest in the race, the Borno lawmaker is challenging another lawmaker the party adopted as its preferred candidate for the position.
Senator Ahmed Lawan was chosen as the candidate of the party to succeed Bukola Saraki, outgoing President of the 8th Senate.
The leadership of the APC had threatened to expel those who will go against the aspiration of Mr Lawan during the formation of the 9th Senate expected to hold next month.
For Ndume, he has not been told by the party to step down despite expressing his interest in writing.
“I have written the party, indicating my intention to contest. Even my national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, publicly said they only recommended Lawan and not that they are stopping anybody,” he said.
“As I speak with you, nobody has consulted me to say ‘don’t run for Senate President’. Everybody has the constitutional right to do that.
“We have 109 senators and each of them have one vote. If you are contesting to be the Senate President, you have to reach out. But at the beginning, I was cautious because I am a party man. So, when the party said ‘don’t go there,’ I did not,” he said.
“But the party came out again and said, ‘You can reach out to them now,’ so I reached out to them.
“So far, the response I am getting from my colleagues from the APC and other parties is very encouraging. I am in this race to win; I am talking to everybody. I have the telephone numbers of all the 109 senators-elect and I call them,” Ndume added.