Protest Stalls Planned Recall Of Senator Ndume

Suspended Senator Ali Ndume

By Ifeanyi Nwoko and Cecilia Ijuo

A planned recall of the suspended former Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, on Tuesday, crumbled as the Senate concluded plenary without mentioning the issue of his recall.

A source in the National Assembly disclosed to our correspondent that the the Senate had intended to recall Ndume today at plenary.

He said that the protest by persons who were in support of Senator Ndume made the Senate to shelve its plan to recall Ndume.

The source however did not specify for how long the upper legislative chamber would shelve its plan.

According to him, the Senate took the position to hold the recall of the suspended senator saying that the Senate could not be intimidated by protests.

Midway into plenary on Tuesday, the Senate had gone into an emergency closed door session which lasted for about 40 minutes.

The protesters had given the National Assembly three days ultimatum to recall Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno).

The protesters barricaded the main entrance to the National Assembly as early as 8:00 a.m.

They were calling for the removal of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, over the suspension of Ndume for six months

The protesters, who came under different groups, including Internally Displaced Persons, were seen chanting pro Ndume songs.

They also carried placards with different inscriptions such as “Ndume again Insha Allah’’, “ who is Afraid of Ibrahim Magu’’, “ Stop undermining PMB’’ and “Saraki is a curse”.

One of the leaders of the groups, Mr Joseph Okwuama told newsmen that if the lawmaker was not recalled, they would stage several protests across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for seven days.

Okwuama, who is the National Coordinator, All Progressives Congress (APC) Movement, said the suspension of Ndume was uncalled for.

“We are talking about corruption in the country. As Nigerian youths, we have to work together in support of the anti-corruption war.

“Corruption is not all about money. What the National Assembly did is corruption. The suspension of Ndume is corruption.

“Ndume’s suspension did not follow due process. The man did not do anything.

“We are giving the National Assembly three days and if they refuse Nigerians will go to the streets of Abuja and protest for one week.

Muhammad Tanko, leader of indigenes from Borno South, Ndume’s constituency, said the constituency could not afford not to have representation for six months.

“The suspension of our senator for six months by the Senate is illegal when the constitution allows for suspension of only 14 days,’’ he said.

Naima Sale, wife of the Chairman, IDPs in Karama Jiji Camp in the FCT, said that the lawmaker had been of help to internally displaced persons and should not be made to suffer for nothing.

In another twist, another group on the sideline of the protest however commended the Senate for suspending Senator Ndume.

The group claimed to have come from the Kuchingoro IDP camp in Abuja

He said that all members of the camp were unhappy with Ndume as he had never associated with them since they came to Abuja as displaced persons.

He added that all the members of the National Assembly from Borno State had been insensitive to their plight.

The leader of the group went on to commend Sen. Dino Melaye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on FCT, for always coming to their aid with food items.

(NAN)

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