Senator Ali Ndume, the Chief Whip of the Senate, has explained why he walked out of the chamber after a clash with Senate President Godswill Akpabio during Tuesday’s session.
Ndume, during the plenary, had pointed out what he believed were procedural violations. He invoked a point of order to address the Senate President about “procedural infringements.”
Akpabio, however, interrupted him, which led to Ndume’s departure from the chamber.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Senator Ndume explained that he left during a debate on the closure of Nigeria’s borders, which arose when Senator Kawu Sumaila proposed an urgent motion on the matter.
Although initially questioned for its urgency, the Senate President allowed Sumaila to speak. Ndume wanted to clarify the motion’s significance to the Senate but was not given the opportunity.
He believed that the issue should involve the President of Nigeria, as it was initiated during his tenure as the President of ECOWAS.
Ndume’s exit coincided with the time of prayer, leading to misunderstandings among his colleagues and misinterpretation by journalists.
“At first, it was argued that the motion was not urgent, but the president of the Senate let him finish what he wanted to say,” the Chief Whip said.
“After hearing the motion, it was agreed that since it is related to security, it should be suspended.
“I would like to clarify that the motion, although impactful, falls outside the jurisdiction of the Nigerian Senate.
“The closure of the border was not initiated by the President of Nigeria (Bola Tinubu), but rather during his tenure as President of ECOWAS.
“As such, he has the authority to advocate on our behalf. In order to address this matter, it is imperative to involve the President of our nation, but I was not afforded the opportunity to convey this message.
“While this was happening, it coincided with the time of prayer, prompting my departure.
“Consequently, my colleagues misconstrued my exit, and the journalists changed the meaning of my exit.”