The Politics That Led To The Downfall Of  Senator Ndume

By Ikenga Chronicles January 11, 2017

The politicking that led to the subsequent removal of  Senator Ali Ndume as the Senate Leader has been connected to a plot orchestrated by the caucus of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).

Recall that the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had announced Ndume’s removal shortly before the upper legislative chamber adjourned on Tuesday.

Ndume had stepped out of the chamber to observe his early afternoon prayer when Mr. Saraki read the letter.

The APC caucus, Saraki said, also chose Ahmed Lawan to replace Ndume.

Ndume said he was removed for insisting that the Senate did not follow the proper procedure before declaring that it had rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).

“What I said was that for us [Senate] to claim to have a rejected a nominee sent to us by the president, we have to follow the right procedure, and observe our rules” the senator said.

“The nominee should have been called into the chamber and presented before senators who will then openly vote on whether to accept or reject his or her nomination.”

“In the case of Magu, that was not done. We only had a closed-door session and when we emerged the Senate spokesperson claimed that he had been rejected. I had to set the record straight by saying we never rejected the nominee. This is because you don’t accept or reject a nominee at a closed session. Our votes and proceedings are there as evidence of my claims.”

Ndume said the clarification he made unsettled some of his colleagues, who immediately began to plot against him.

“I was surprised that such a simple and harmless clarification could rattle and anger some of my colleagues” he said. “I thought it wasn’t a big deal to disagree over issues. I didn’t realize that that simple matter would snowball into a plot to remove me.”

“The other day, somebody mentioned to me that the Senate President had commissioned Dino Melaye to collect signatures to remove me. I didn’t pay much attention to the information because I actually thought it was a joke or a rumour.”

“I didn’t feel that disagreeing with colleagues, and sharing my understanding of what transpired at our closed session was an offence, grievous enough to cause my removal.”

Magu’s rejection followed a report sent to the Senate by the State Security Service which accused the acting EFCC chairman of corruption.

A senator familiar with the matter said Ndume especially angered Saraki when he asked why he guided members to act on the report advising against Magu’s confirmation, while ignoring the one which urged that he should be cleared for the office.

Ndume reportedly argued that what the Senate should have done was to call attention to the two security reports, and then ask the president whether to continue with the confirmation process or not.

Meanwhile, Kabiru Marafa, an ally of Lawan, the new majority leader, hailed the leadership change as “victory for APC”, saying the party had long wanted Lawan to serve as Senate Leader following the crisis sparked by Mr. Saraki’s emergence.

He revealed that there was a caucus meeting on Monday during which the decision to remove  Ndume was taken.

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