How Senator Ningi is in the Den Of Unarmed Robbers called the Senate


How Senator Ningi is in the Den Of Unarmed Robbers called the Senate

Senator Ningi


It is only when the forest is bursting with the foul odor of dead animals that vultures feed fat. The offensive smell in the National Assembly has led to disputatious tunes from within and outside of the red chamber of the National Assembly over the interview granted the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service by Senator Abdul Ningi who represents Bauchi Central Senatorial Zone. Some senators, mainly members of the Senate leadership, have viewed the interview as an unnecessary exposure of issues that should be sorted outside the knowledge of the public whose confidence in the legislature has considerably waned over time.

This is not the first time the senate is embroiled in scandals. From frequent leadership changes that was the highpoint of the Olusegun Obasanjo government to accusations relating to financial improprieties and other alleged unethical conducts in both chambers, there have been fewer voices within and more without that are devoted for cleansing the self-afflicted unseemliness by lawmakers through constituency projects, among others, that often pitched it against the executive arm.

As it was


The annual rituals of budget procedures and passages have become a conduit pipe through which lawmakers have always exploited to not only enrich themselves through allotting constituency projects running into hundreds of billions of naira yearly to themselves, but also provided them an opportunity to empower themselves through the backdoor. The acceptance by lawmakers to abandon the policeman role in a democracy and ensure that critical stakeholders in a ballot government, especially the presidency and judiciary, do their jobs, has been the major reason for poor implementation of budgets. In 2017, former President Obasanjo described the National Assembly as the ‘den of unarmed robbers’ enmeshed in the aggressive accumulation of ill-gotten wealth through budget padding and approving constituency projects of which they and their proxies are involved in the execution. For now, lawmakers prefer to play the accomplice role in promoting skullduggery than insisting on the right act to be done.

Sometimes in the past, lawmakers acted in the overwhelming interest of the Nigerian people, but now are involved in manipulating budgetary procedures and using their privileged position to milk the system in order to acquire financial muscles for the next polls. Approvals of appointments for public officers whose names are sent to the red chamber for confirmation by the president, as shown during the endorsement of Mallam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai as the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2003, are still mired in allegations of bribes, among others.

So, it is


The fireworks trailing the alleged N3.7 trillion in the budget that is without particular projects attached has set tongues wagging. The reaction of the senate on the matter has been propelled more by fear than rationality. The suspension of Ningi over the interview has only opened up the upper chamber for ridicule from the prying public. In the startling discovery that has followed the senator’s suspension, the budget has been exposed as fraudulent and not for the national interest. In the sharing of the constituency projects, it is now clear that some senators are more equal than others, with the first among equal carting away projects worth over N20 billion. So worrisome is the shameless costing of a borehole put at N193 million and a unit of a street light at N183 million! Without doubt, the 2024 Budget is gradually being unveiled as the biggest fraud yet to be fully revealed.

Of course, Ningi’s allegations may turn out not to be entirely true and altruistic. Many are asking whether the accuser would have screamed if he was favoured with constituency projects worth billions of naira. The manner in which some senators reacted to the allegations is reflective of the urgency to prevent a situation where the Senate is thrown into the mud of public doubt.

Disquieting suspension


The Senate may have suspended the senator for daring to expose their game, but the coming days may prove uncertain for the Senator Godswill Akpabio leadership. What the suspension has achieved is bringing to the fore the need for the National Assembly to cleanse itself of the worship of Mammon and play the role of the policeman in the protection of democracy. Those who are hell-bent on covering up the manipulative footprints in the budget and alleging that certain forces from the North are out to battle the Tinubu presidency must be ignored. The revival of the Southern Senators’ Forum (SSF), obviously to confront Ningi who resigned as the chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum (NSF), following his suspension, foretells cloudy skies that may rain and lead to regional flooding. Senators must know that Nigeria is their Constituency and must avoid walking on some ethnic staircases.

It must be made clear that Ningi’s disclosure rocking the senate was never a product of northern senators. That he was chairman of the NSF does not in any way translate his allegations into the official position of northern senators. In fact, some members of the NSF have debunked the allegations as unsubstantiated. The voices of truth and falsehood are set to clash over a recurring phenomenon that has turned our budgets into mind-boggling heists of all times by lawmakers. President Bola Tinubu should seize the present opportunity and wrestle agents of corruption to the ground. Most needful, Ningi should approach the court and challenge the legality of his suspension.


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