Nigeria: Senate Not Divided Despite Chief Whip’s Walkout Incident

The Senate is still united despite the walk out staged by the Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) during plenary after he was ruled out of order by Senate President Godswill Akpabio, a source told LEADERSHIP yesterday.

Indications that the Senate leadership was in divided emerged after

Ndume walked out of the chamber in protest against being ruled out of order by the Senate President.

Ndume had raised a point of order on errors not corrected by the Akpabio as relating to a motion moved by Senator Summaila Kawu (NNPP Kano South), on the need to re-open the Nigeria-Niger Border.

Ndume, who was trying to call the Senate president’s attention on a parliamentary procedure, rose through order 51 of the Senate standing rules and requested the Senate President to allow for correction of any error made or observed in plenary.

“This is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guided by laws, rules and procedures. If in the course of proceedings at any session, errors are observed, they must be corrected before forging ahead with such proceedings,” Ndume said.

But Akpabio ruled him out of order because the issue at hand was not based on the point of orde he raised.

Senator Sunday Karimi (APC Kogi West ) attempted to sustain Ndume’s line of argument through another point of order but was also ruled out of order by the Senate President.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau, quickly rose to read order 16, which requires a substantive motion to be moved by any Senator for correction or review of earlier decisions taken.

Akpabio however sustained Barau’s point of order Akpabio, which infuriated Ndume.

Angered by Akpabio’s decision, Ndume packed his documents and furiously stormed out of the chamber.

However, the Senate went into a closed door session as initially planned.

However, a ranking Senator told LEADERSHIP, last night, that there is no division in the Senate and that it remains one in spite of the Ndume incident.

He added that Ndume, who left in anger after being ruled out of order, later returned and was present during the close door session where other critical issues were discussed.

“I can tell you that the Senate is one. Ndume was in the closed door meeting and never uttered a word. Our discussion in the closed door session was something entirely different. So, reports on social media are false.

“There is no disagreement in the Senate. The Senate is one,” the ranking lawmaker said.

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