The Senate as an institution should not be subjected to the whims and caprices of an individual, Ali Ndume said on Wednesday in reaction to his removal as Senate Leader.
Mr. Saraki announced the removal of Mr. Ndume as the Senate Leader just before the Senate adjourned on Tuesday.
Mr. Ndume’s removal and consequent replacement with Ahmed Lawan was demanded by the All Progressives Congress, APC, caucus via the letter read by Mr. Saraki.
But speaking exclusively with PREMIUM TIMES hours after his removal on Tuesday, Mr. 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.
Mr. Ndume said he insisted that in view of the Senate’s standard procedures and practice, Mr. Magu had not been rejected by the Senate because there was no confirmation hearing for the nominee to defend claims made against him
On Wednesday, his first day as a floor member since the 8th Senate was convened in June 2015, Mr. Ndume stepped out of the chamber to talk to Nigerian Television Authority.
During the interview monitored by PREMIUM TIMES, he stressed that the Senate should not be subjected to the whims and caprices of one individual.
“The Senate as an institution should not be subjected to the whims and caprices of any individual who is one among the equal,” the Borno politician said.
PREMIUM TIMES understands Mr. Ndume was subtly directing his remarks at Mr. Saraki with whom he had collaborated to defy the party leadership in the National Assembly leadership elections of June 9, 2015.
Interestingly, Mr. Ndume’s successor as Senate Leader, Mr. Lawan, was the choice of the APC leadership to clinch the Senate Presidency.
Mr. Ndume is understood to believe his ouster was instigated by Mr. Saraki, his erstwhile ally, for insisting on Mr. Magu’s confirmation as substantive EFCC Chairman.
Earlier at Wednesday’s plenary, Mr. Ndume expressed surprise at how he was removed but added he had satisfaction the development was not because he was found wanting.
“That’s why I’m concerned about the loss of confidence. As far as I know, I did not do anything,” said Mr. Ndume.
“Thank God that during my service as the senate leader, most of my colleagues will say ‘leader we are proud of you’.
“Because of the unity of this Senate, three times I offered to resign, if that is the case but I believe God’s time is the best.
“It’s me today and it is OK. It may be, God forbid, Ekweremadu tomorrow. I wish my brother the new Senate leader best. We have been struggling for this for a long time and I wish you the best to the service of this important institution.”
Kabiru Marafa then rose to say Mr. Ndume’s removal by the APC caucus was lawful.