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Saraki denies betraying Ndume

By Henry Umoru & Levinus Nwabughiogu

Senate President Bukola Saraki, yesterday, denied betraying former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume to preserve his skin.

His denial came as the  former Senate Leader accepted his fate and wished his successor, Senator Ahmad Lawan, the best in his endeavours.

Speaking with State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Saraki also denied insinuations that the removal of Ndume had triggered a crisis in the Senate.

“There is no crisis in the National Assembly, things like this do happen. The institution is bigger than everybody. I am sure that he and everybody else will always work for the interest of the institution and the interest of the country. Everything is calm, solid and fine,” Senator Saraki said yesterday.

Saraki who had earlier in the day appeared before the Code of Conduct Tribunal; CCT was asked whether he sacrificed Ndume to save himself.

Senator Saraki

Reacting jokingly, Saraki said: “Do I look like someone that does things like that?” and subsequently drove off.

Earlier at the Senate plenary, Senator Ndume had accepted his removal but warned that the rules and tradition of the upper chambers must be strictly adhered to on such issues.

He spoke as Senator Lawan for the first time took charge as Senate Leader.

Standing upon Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Ndume said he was shocked with the way he was removed without an allegation directed at him as he urged his colleagues to always adhere to procedure in engaging its principal officers.

Addressing Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, he said: “How you protect the institution is to obey the rules and the tradition. If today, just like that without telling somebody and he goes out…if it is Ndume today and it’s ok, it may be God forbid Ekweremadu tomorrow.”

Noting that he discharged all his responsibilities as Senate Leader with fairness, he said that he had no problem leaving the office as he had in fact attempted to resign but was persuaded otherwise.

“So, what I am saying is that anytime our colleagues err in one way or the other, we should be given the chance to say look this is what we did, and therefore we have lost confidence in you. But I thank God since there is nothing and I am grateful for that.”


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