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Pro-Ndume protesters give Saraki 3-day ultimatum to reverse suspension

By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-CONSTITUENTS and supporters of suspended senator Ali Ndume ,stormed the National Assembly in their number Tuesday, to register their grievances over last week’s suspension of the senator.

The protesters, who started their action around 7:30 when workers were resuming for work, barricaded the main entrance gate to the legislative house thereby causing human and vehicular traffic on the road leading inside the complex.

To prevent some of them entering inside the complex to cause damage, security men took strategic positions while workers were redirected to pass through the entrance gate of the Office of Secretary to State Government, SGF.

The protesters, whose action caused unbearable inconveniences to workers and early morning visitors, accused the Senate President, Bukola Saraki of masterminded the action against the Borno South Senatorial District representative ,just as they asked that the Senate President must be removed.

The aggrieved protesters also demanded that Saraki must prevail on the Senate to reverse the action within three days, failure of which they threatened larger protests.

The protesters, who came under different groups, including Internally Displaced Persons, were seen chanting pro-Ndume songs just as they carried placards with different inscriptions such as “Ndume again Insha Allah’’, who is afraid of Ibrahim Magu?” ,Stop undermining PMB’’ , “Saraki is a curse among others.

One of the leaders of the groups, Mr Joseph Okwuama told newsmen that if the lawmaker was not recalled, they would stage several protests across the Federal Capital Territory for seven days.

Okwuama, who is the National Coordinator, All Progressives Congress ,APC Movement, said the suspension of Ndume was uncalled for.

He said: “We are talking about corruption in the country. As Nigerian youths we have to work together in support if the anti-corruption war.

“Corruption is not all about money. What the National Assembly did is corruption. The suspension of Ndume is corruption.

“Ndume’s suspension did not follow due process. The man did not do anything.

 

“We are giving the National Assembly three days and if they refuse Nigerians will go the street of Abuja and protest for one week.”

Muhammad Tanko, leader of indigenes from Borno South, Ndume’s constituency, said the constituency could not afford not to have representation for six months.

He said: “the suspension of our senator for six months by the Senate is illegal when the constitution allows for suspension of only 14 days.

Southern Borno Global Initiatives protesting the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume in the gate of National Assembly in Abuja Tuesday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

“Saraki must go. He knows what Ndume did for him before he became President’’

Naima, Sale, wife of Chairman, IDPs in Karama Jiji camp in the Federal Capital Territory, said the lawmaker had been of help to internally displaced persons and should not be made to suffer for nothing.

Recall that Senator Ndume was suspended Wednesday ,last week by the Senate for asking the Upper legislative Chamber to investigate allegations of fake customs papers and certificate forgery against senators Bukola Saraki Dino Melaye,APC,Kogi West respectively.

An online platform had accused Saraki of importing a Range Rover SUV without paying appropriate imports duty, and attempting to clear the vehicle with falsified papers.

Also, Melaye was accused of falsely claiming to have graduated from Ahmadu Bello University.

But the Senate, in line with recommendations of its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, who was mandated to probe the allegations, cleared the duo and slammed Ndume a six-month suspension.


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