OrderPaperToday – Born on the 20th of November, 1959 in Gwoza town, Borno State, Ndume is the senator representing Borno South in the Senate on the platform of the APC.
Borno South senatorial district covers Biu, Damboa, Chibok, Askira/Uba, Gwoza, Bayo, Hawul, Shani and Kwaya Kuzar.
Ndume served two terms in the House of Representatives (ANPP, Chibok, Damboa, Gwoza) from 2003 to 2011, where he held the position of minority leader during his second term. In 2011, he moved to the Senate and upon re-election in 2015, became majority leader against his party’s wish. He was, however, unceremoniously removed in January, 2017 and later suspended for 8 months in the same year.
Ndume was re-elected in 2019 after he polled 300, 637 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Kudla Haske, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who garnered 84, 608 votes.
8th Senate score card
At the start of the 8th Senate, Ali Ndume emerged as Senate leader, a position he held for 19 months.
In total, Ndume sponsored 15 bills, although more than a third of those bills (6) failed to make it past first reading.
These bills include: Communication Service Tax Bill, 2015; Unemployed Youths, Elderly and Indigent Sustainability Allowances Trust Fund Bill, 2015; Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2011 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2016; Constituency Development Fund Bill, 2016; Federal College of Education Gwoza Bill, 2018; and Federal Polytechnic Marama, Borno State Bill, 2018.
Many of his other bills were executive bills sponsored as part of his duties as Senate leader.
They include: 2015 Supplementary Appropriation Bill; 2015 Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill; Appropriation Bill, 2016; Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Bill 2016.
He co-sponsored the Chartered Institute of Facilities Management of Nigeria Bill, 2015, alongside Senator Baba Kaka Garbai. The bill did not make it past second reading.
However, Ndume successfully sponsored some landmark bills. He sponsored the North East Development Commission Bill, 2015, (which is a House Bill sponsored by immediate past speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara) which was passed and eventually assented to by the president on Wednesday, 25th October, 2017 and the controversial Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, 2015. which was passed on Thursday, 24th November, 2016 but failed to get assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Ndume also sponsored the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2016, which was passed on Tuesday, 30th May, 2017.
As Senate leader, he was not assigned chairmanship of any committee until he was removed. Following that development, he was made chairman of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service in November, 2018.
However, not much was heard from him at committee level up till the end of his tenure in May, 2019. He was also deputy chairman, Committee on Rules and Business; member, Committee on Aviation; member, Committee on Foreign Affairs and member, Committee on Public Procurement.
In January 2016, Senator Ndume sponsored a motion via point of order on the continuous crash of the naira against the dollar, leading to a summon of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
He also sponsored a motion in March 2016 on the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states affected by Boko haram terrorism.
In November 2017, following his return from suspension, Senator Ali Ndume sponsored a motion on the resurgence of Boko Haram activities in North Eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
He revealed that 357 Nigerians have been killed in 55 attacks by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists since the beginning of 2017.
Ndume’s time at the 8th Senate was also defined by series of controversies that eventually culminated in his suspension and derived his constituents of representation for 8 months.
It started in January 2017, when members of the All Progressives Congress caucus suddenly announced his sack as the leader of the caucus and majority leader for reportedly speaking against the Senate over its decision not to confirm the appointment of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Then in March 2017, Ndume was suspended for 90 legislative days for not “conducting due diligence” before filing a petition against the Senate president, Bukola Saraki and Senator Dino Melaye. He was suspended “for bringing Senator Dino Melaye, his colleague, and the institution of the Senate to unbearable disrepute.”
Ndume had earlier called on the Red Chamber to investigate an allegation that an armoured Range Rover car seized by the Nigeria Customs Service allegedly belonged to Saraki. He also called on the upper chamber of the National Assembly to investigate a certificate scandal involving Melaye.
Even after his return from suspension in November 2017, Ndume was involved in further controversy after a sergeant-at-Arms, Brighton Danwalex, alleged that Senator Ali Ndume instructed the men assigned to protect the mace not to touch it during the invasion of the Red Chamber by thugs who carted away the mace. He also sustained a running battle with the then Senate president, Bukola Saraki, severally calling for his resignation after he defected to the opposition PDP.
Ndume ran for 9th Senate presidency but lost to Ahmad Lawan. He is now the chairman, Senate Committee on Army and his constituents will be looking forward to qualitative and uninterrupted legislation over the next couple of years.