Budget Padding:. Northern Students Threaten To Shutdown National Assembly

By Frank Oshanugor

The last may not have been heard following the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi from the Senate over his allegation that the 2024 budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was padded to the tune of N3.7Trillion as Association of Northern Nigerian Students (ANNS) has threatened to shutdown the National Assembly if the leadership of Senate failed to reverse the suspension within 48 hours.

Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi is a Senator representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly. He was suspended for three months on Tuesday following what his colleagues considered as embarrassing allegation to members of the upper legislative chamber with respect to the 2024 budget scrutiny.

In a statement on Friday signed by the National President of ANNS, Comrade Sani Adamu, the group said “with humongous dismay and grievances in our hearts, the leadership of the Association of Northern Nigerian Students totally condemn the decision of the Senate Leadership over the Suspension of Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi.

“As Nigerians may all be aware, few days ago Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi alleged that over #3.7 Trillion remains unaccounted for in the 2024 budget, as the money was not allocated or tied to any specific projects.

“Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi is a well-experienced politician, very compassionate in protecting the interest of Nigerians irrespective of religion, tribe, political affiliation or any other status. It is so ridiculous for the Senate Leadership to suspend our entire voice of the Northerners in the Senate because we believe in the effective Leadership of Sen. Abdul Ahmed Ningi towards protecting the interest of the North and the Nation at large.

“Mr President of the Senate, we want to call your attention to remind you in case you have forgotten the duty and responsibility of the Legislature. Of course, what Sen. Abdul Ahmed Ningi did is part of his duty as the legislator to scrutinise the budget and ensure full implementation of it and make laws of the country.

“Therefore we are proud of the leadership of Sen. Abdul Ningi and the fact that he has proved to his constituents that he knew what he was doing. He has shown that he was representing them very well, not like other senators who are sleeping in the Senate, while others are afraid of such brutality and indeed some are only fighting for their pockets.

“In this regard, we will not fold our hands and keep watching this dictatorship of the Senate Leadership which can cause our representatives to have fear of standing and protecting our legitimate interest that will bring development in our Constituency.

“We hereby issue 48-hour ultimatum to the Senate Leadership to reverse their decision or face a mega protest that will shut down the National Assembly,” the students threatened.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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