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HomeNewsBauchi People Demands Senate Apology Over Senator Ningi's Suspension

Bauchi People Demands Senate Apology Over Senator Ningi’s Suspension

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By; Mohammed Kawu, Bauchi

Nigeria’s Upper Legislative Chamber, the Senate has been challenged to immediately withdraw what was described as ‘illegal and undemocratic’ suspension of Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, representing Bauchi central senatorial district in the legislature.

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An Amalgamation of Concerned Group in the state that tasked the Senate on the suspension, also deserved an unreserved apology to Senator Abdul Ningi and the entire people of Bauchi central senatorial district whom he ably represents in the law making body

The chairman of the amalgamation, Umar Sa’idu Maigamo said in a press conference in Bauchi Tuesday that the Senate should also review the 2024 budget and all the anomalies therein be corrected with immediate effect.

It could be recalled that the Nigerian Senate recently sent Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi on a three-month suspection over what it described as his fictitious statement on the 2024 national budget.

The Bauchi group similarly want the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio to as a matter of urgency step aside to allow for full scale investigation into the budget padding allegations in line with the rules of the Upper Legislative Chamber.

According to the group chairman, the Senate should in addition order for an investigation into the allegation of 500 million naira given to some selected ranking senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the budget mixed-up.

Maigamo said, “We would like to make it categorically clear that should the Senate insist on denying Senator Ningi a fair hearing, we, the good people of Bauchi state, particularly constituents from the Bauchi central senatorial district, will follow all lawful and democratic means to seek for redress”.

He explained that it become imperative that the nation’s nascent democracy must thrive on the principle of justice, fairness and accountability, saying, “We must uphold such values and hold our elected officials accountable for their actions and inactions”.

Maigamo similarly described, condemned and rejected as unlawful and undemocratic the suspension of Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, and prayed for immediate response to the group’s demands by the senators, “We would never back down or compromise our stand over these demands”.

He said they considered the senate decision as premeditated, hasty, unlawful and undemocratic on several grounds, recalling that Senator Abdul Ningi in an attempt to exercise his legislative and constitution right granted an interview to the BBC Hausa Service where he raised pertinent issues regarding the 2024 budget.

“In the said interview, the senator revealed that there were some anomalies in the budget where he specifically stated that the sum of 3.7 trillion naira could not be traced to any projects or location in the 2024 budget”

Senator Ningi’s assertion, group also recalled, was corroborated by several professional groups including Budget Foundation, a renowned civil society organization promoting accountability and transpiercing in public spending in Nigeria.

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Maigamo bluffed, “However, in a rare display of injustice, disdain for the rule of law and democratic tenets, the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio at the plenary held on 12th March, 2024 announced the suspension of Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi for 3 months”.

“This followed a motion moved by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola representing Ogun West, who alleged that his privilege as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had been breached by the assertion of Senator Abdul Ningi concerning the 2024 budget”.

The group chairman said however that Instead of giving Senator Abdul Ningi fair hearing or in the alternative order for a forensic analysis of the entire budget, the Senate went ahead to execute its ‘premeditated’ action.

Maigamo then drew the attention of Nigerians on the diversionary antics by the leadership of the Senate to cover up the mess by turning the issue into North and South dichotomy.

“Specifically, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (Senate Majority Leader), representing Ekiti Central stood up on the floor of the Nigerian Senate to proclaim that he was addressing the Senate as “Southern Senator” alleging that there was a Northern plot to sabotage and remove Akpabio for no reason that he is from the South”.

This, according to the group, showed that Senator Bamidele is a poor student of history, as several Senate Presidents of Southern extraction have been fully supported by Northerners, namely Dennis Osadebey 1960 – 1963; Nwafor Orizu 1963 – 1966; Joseph Wayas 1979 – 1983; and Evans Enweren 1990, to mention a few.

“On the contrary, Senator Abdul Ningi being a patriotic, experienced and high ranking legislator than Bamidele and his likes, neither addressed himself as a Northern Senator nor linked the 3.7 trillion naira to any section of the country”.

Maigamo also drew the attention of Nigerians on the allegation made by Senator Agom Jarigbe, representing Cross River North in the plenary that some ranking senators received the sum of N500 million each, excluding himself, but was hastly prevented from speaking further by deliberately turning off his microphone, “The allegation was ignored by the Presiding Officer”.

The group chairman therefore commended Senator Ningi for his courage, doggedness and patriotism by exposing the inadequacies in the budget, stressing that such inadequacies include a situation where some constituencies got allocations as high as 120 billion naira while others got less than a billion.

Comrade Umar Maigamo concluded, “Is it in line with the assertion of a senator “Not all Animals are Equal”.

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