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Ningi wrong to ethnicise, politicise allegations on budget – Ndume

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, has said that it was wrong for the suspended Senator Abdul Ningi to attempt to ethnicize…

The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, has said that it was wrong for the suspended Senator Abdul Ningi to attempt to ethnicize and politicize his (Ningi) budget padding allegations.

He added that he warned Ningi on the allegation that the 2024 budget was padded by over N3 trillion, but the suspended lawmaker refused to heed his warning. Ningi, who represents Bauchi Central in the Senate, was suspended on Tuesday for three months by the Senate for his claim, which the senators said was false.

Ndume, in an interview with Channels Television, said the suspended Bauchi senator was wrong with his claim. “I sat next to the Senate Leader (Opeyemi Bamidele); he was very angry about what Ningi did, but honestly, me too. What he (Ningi) did was wrong because I was involved,” Ndume said.

“In the first instance, it started when they said the capital project was skewed to the South” by over N15trillion but the capital project was N8.9 trillion before the amendment, adding that even with the amendment, the capital component of the budget is not up to that.

On the ethnicization and politicization of the allegation and how it made a lot of senators angry, Ndume said, “Yes, that is it. Which was totally wrong. Ningi shouldn’t have done that.”

The Senate Chief Whip said that when Ningi first presented the case to him, he told him to provide evidence, which he could not. He insisted that, as a senior member of the Senate, he could attest to the fact that the North was not shortchanged by the South in the budget, as claimed by Ningi.

Ndume, who had also faced suspension in the 8th National Assembly, insisted his own suspension was different from Ningi’s own, saying, “I was suspended on facts that I presented.”

Daily Trust reports that BudgIT and other CSOs said Ningi was right.


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