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Ningi’s suspension: ACF kicks, says North’s interests at stake

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Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has criticised the suspension of Sen Abdul Ninigi, the immediate past Chairman of Northern Senators Forum, by the Senate, saying the interests of the North are at stake.

The group said the Senate ought to have probed the issues raised by Ninigi to establish the veracity of his claims instead of slapping him with a suspension. 

Prof.Tukur Muhammad-Baba, the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, in a statement, urged the Senate to act with more circumspection in dealing with criticisms of its operations.

The statement reads, “ACF notes that the whole saga hinged on the rather weighty allegation made by Senator Ningi, euphemistically called “budget padding”. Senator Ningi and we must say others, had alleged that as much as the sum of N3.7 trillion is not rather egregiously attached to any specific project as it ought to be under the 2024 budget of the federation passed for implementation.

“ACF does not wish to engage in debate with the Senate. Still, on the whole, the process appeared nimbly rushed, with concerns looking more at the messenger rather than his message. ACF notes that the allegation has since been denied by the 10th Senate as lacking in veracity. However, the interests of many communities in Northern Nigeria are at stake. Rather than the route of a rushed suspension of Senator Ningi, ACF prefers a thorough investigation of the allegation by some statutory or ad hoc committee of the Senate.

“As things stand, in the eyes of the public, the allegation of padding, as well as those related to the inclusion of curious items that benefit specific communities of some senators as “constituency projects”, stand unaddressed with all attendant negative implications for the Red Chamber and, vicariously, the executive, regrettably, unfortunately and avoidably so for Nigeria’s nascent democracy.”

 

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