Ningi’s Suspension Rushed’ – ACF Knocks Senate Over N3.7 Trillion Budget Padding Controversy

Ningi’s Suspension Rushed’ – ACF Knocks Senate Over N3.7 Trillion Budget Padding Controversy

The pan-northern socio-political organisation Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has berated the National Assembly for suspending the Senator representing Bauchi Central, Abdul Ningi, over the Senate’s alleged padding of the 2024 budget by N3.7tn.

Naloaded News recalls that Ningi had, in an earlier interview, made the allegation that culminated in his three-month suspension for what the Senate labelled an unfounded allegation.

However, the ACF’s National Publicity Secretary, Prof. Tukur-Baba, in a statement on Saturday titled ‘ACF regrets suspension of Senator Ningi from 10th Senate, calls for more open debates on issues,’ said the process that culminated in Ningi’s suspension appeared rushed, looking more on the messenger rather than his message.

The pan-northern organisation regretted that rather than suspending the Senator, the red chamber should have allowed an independent investigation into the matter.

According to the forum, Ningi’s suspension will threaten the interests of many Northern communities in the region.

The statement read in part, “The Arewa Consultative Forum has watched with keen interest the series of rather dramatic events, in the Nigerian 10th Senate, which culminated in the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi from the Red Chamber for three months.

“ACF acknowledges the 10th Senate’s constitutional privilege to determine how it operates or conducts its affairs.

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.

ACF regrets that Bauchi Central will be without representation in the 10th Senate for the 3 months, and stands with Senator Ningi and his supporters in whatever constitutional means they seek to respond for a satisfactory denouement to this sad development.

ACF also calls on the 10th Senate to act with more circumspection and sensitivity in processing criticism of its operations. Robust debates on public policy issues undoubtedly strengthen the development of the democratic project.”

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