Senator Ali Ndume, the Senate’s Chief Whip, has provided an explanation for why he left the Upper Chamber on Tuesday following a discussion with Senate President Godswill Akpabio.
Speaking in the plenary, Ndume alerted the legislators to what he considered to be violations.
In order to draw Akpabio’s attention to “procedural infringements” in the chamber, the Borno South senator raised a point of order.
Ndume’s statement was interrupted by Akpabio before the senator stormed out of the room.
Ndume noted that the issue started “when Senator Kawu Sumaila proposed a motion which he said was urgent on closing the border between Nigeria and Niger” in an interview with BBC Hausa.
He said, “Initially, it was claimed that the motion was not urgent, but the President of the Senate allowed him to finish what he wanted to say.
“After the motion was heard, it was decided that it should be suspended because it concerns security.”
“I would like to clarify that the motion, although significant, is outside the purview of the Nigerian Senate,” said Ndume.
“The President of Nigeria did not order the border to be closed; rather, it was done while he served as ECOWAS President. He is therefore qualified to speak up for us.
“The President of our country must be involved in order to handle this issue, but I was not given the chance to make this point.
The fact that this was taking place during a time of prayer prompted me to leave. As a result, my coworkers misinterpreted my leaving, and the media reinterpreted it.