Borno State senator, Ali Ndume, has said that he is still in the race for the office of the Senate president.
His statement comes hours after his colleague, Danjuma Goje, endorsed the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, for the position.
Mr Goje had endorsed Ahmed Lawan to emerge as the next Senate President on Thursday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said he decided to endorse Mr Lawan despite the widespread calls for him to run for the office of Senate President because he had been asked to do so by Mr Buhari.
He said it is also to respect the wish of his party and to enhance unity in the party.
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had picked Mr Lawan as its preferred candidate for the position.
Mr Ndume said the party’s leadership unilaterally picked Mr Lawan without the backing of the entire party.
Both the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole and the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu, had called on Mr Ndume and other aggrieved members of the party to support Mr Lawan as the Senate president.
In a statement on Thursday, Mr Ndume said he welcomes the news of Mr Goje’s withdrawal. He said the race is now a straight fight between the two main contenders.
According to him, the development has narrowed down the race “presenting senators-elect with a choice between one that would serve the nation’s best interest.”
“Let me assure you that I remain in the race and I’m very optimistic. I have said my prayers. I have implicit faith in God. He is the giver of power. So, there is no cause for alarm.
“A school anthem says, once to every man and nation, comes a moment to decide. On Tuesday my colleagues will decide. And we believe Allah is on our side,” he said.
The leadership of the APC had said any APC lawmaker who works against the dictates of the leadership of the party should be ready to quit the APC.
That threat as, however, not deterred Mr Ndume who has argued that the APC could only zone the position to a region and allow senators from that region contest among themselves.
Both Mr Ndume and Mr Lawan are from the north-eastern region of the country.
The ninth Senate will be inaugurated on June 11 and the lawmakers are expected to elect a successor to Senate President Bukola Saraki.