Ali Ndume speaking with his constituents
While speaking to a crowd of supporters who turned out on to receive him when he visited his constituency in Borno South, the suspended Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, on Saturday, said he will not apologise to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki in order to get reinstated.
Recall that the Senate, placed a 181-day suspension to the lawmaker for demanding that the upper legislative house investigate newspaper publications that accused Saraki, and a fellow senator, Dino Melaye, of improper activities.
Ali Ndume during the visit addressed his constituents at various locations where he informed them that his plight at the National Assembly was because of his insistence on doing the right thing.
The former Senate majority leader also informed a gathering at the palace of the Emir of Biu that he does not regret the actions that led to his earlier removal as Senate leader and his recent suspension. He said if his suspension was based on corruption or abuse of office, he would not have been well received by his people.
“Your Royal Highness, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it took us hours to squeeze through the crowd of supporters to get to this place. And this gives me the greatest joy because my people still appreciate me.
“I will not remain a Senator for the rest of my life; but for the time I serve as the representative of my people, I shall continue to do and tell the truth. I know if I had erred, I would not have been received here. But I enjoy the support of my people because they know my suspension was because I spoke the truth.
“I know those that suspended me are going now regretting their actions because of the massive protest that trailed my illegal suspension. After seeing the support that I enjoy from Nigerians, the same people that suspended me came to say I should tender an apology so that my suspension could be lifted. But I said no to that because I did not commit any offence in the first place.
“They later came to say the Senate President, Senator Melaye and I should go and reconcile our difference; and I told them that I had no issue with either of them, so there is nothing to reconcile – as far as I am concerned we have a good working relationship.
“But I thank the Governor of Borno State, and Your Royal Highness, the Emir of Biu, and all those that sent emissaries in seeking to ensure that this issue is resolved. We are still talking, but I know I had not committed any offence.”
Premium Times had reported that the intervention of the Borno governor, Kashim Shettima, who met with Saraki in trying to ensure the reversal of Ndume’s suspension.
“My religion enjoins me to always stand on the path of truth even if I turn around and found that everyone has deserted me.
“Firstly, I know my trouble with them started because of my support for the policies and ideals of President Muhammadu Buhari. Secondly, when Ibrahim Magu’s name was brought to the Senate as nominee for the Chairmanship of EFCC, some group in the senate insisted that he would not be cleared. And in my position as the then Senate Majority leader, it was incumbent upon me to support any nominee sent in by the Executive. Besides that, the same nominee is from my state, Borno; besides, he had committed no offence to be denied the senate clearance.
“Above all, the majority of Nigerians loved him because he is doing the job well even as an acting chairman of EFCC. Thirdly, when he was brought in for screening and it was not successful, I took courage to tell them that they were acting out of the Senate order.
“And lastly, my position on the allegation levelled on the Senate President as well as the issue of Senator Dino’s certificate by a news medium was the final straw they needed to break the camel’s back.
“But Your Royal Highness, it is incumbent upon we the Senators, under Order 14-15 that if there is any issue or development or any action that tends to rubbish the integrity of the Senate, we stand up to ensure that we defend the name of the Senate. All I asked for was to investigate an allegation published in a news medium against two of our colleagues.
“The President of the Senate has all the powers to rule me out of order if he felt that the issues I raised were not welcomed on the floor of the Senate. But because they had always wanted to crucify me, they seized the moment to unleash their built-up angst against me. So, they gave a dog to hang me. And they did that when majority of the senators were not on seat.
“I thank God this turned out good to me, because it made me know how much love I enjoy from Nigerians,” he said.