Danjuma Goje, an All Progressives Congress(APC) Senator representing Gombe Central, has explained his decision to for Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC-Yobe) in the race for the Senate presidency in the 9th Assembly.
Goje and Lawan had a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Lawan at the Aso Villa, Abuja on Thursday, where the decision to step down was reached.
However, speaking with reporters after the meeting, Goje who has been in the Senate for a long time said although his supporters wanted him to run for Senate presidency, his loyalty to the president and the interest of the party, was why he backed down from the race.
He said: “Instead, I am supporting the party’s position thereby endorsing the candidature of Sen. Lawan.
“I am not compelled to step down; I have been winning my elections many times from local government to House of Assembly to National Assembly to governorship and I was also a minister.
“To say that I have been threatened to support somebody, no. I am supporting Lawan based on my own conviction that I am doing the right thing for our country, for our president,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Lawan thanked Buhari, El-Rufai and Goje for ehlping them reach the agreememt, which he says will foster unity in the party.
He said: “I believe that is the way to go, we want to go to the ninth Senate focused and United right from the onset, kickstart our activities which are very important at this time.
“The country needs a Senate that is focused and united for optimum performance and I believe that the senators-elect will be happy to hear that this has been achieved.
“I want to thank Senator Goje, he is a very experienced politician like he has said; he has been in this business much longer and than most of us really.
“ I respect him; even when there were so many clamours for him to run for the position of the president of the Senate, he never came out to the public to declare.