The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, has disclosed the reason for his departure from the chamber following an encounter with the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, on Tuesday.
During the plenary session, Ndume raised concerns that he believed were violations within the Senate.
The senator from Borno South used a point of order to draw the Senate President’s attention to what he perceived as “procedural infringements” taking place in the chamber.
This action went against established parliamentary procedures as Akpabio interrupted Ndume’s speech and, as a result, the senator left the chamber.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Ndume explained that the rationale behind his departure was related to his decision to leave during the discussion of a topic concerning the closure of Nigeria’s borders.
He explained that the situation stemmed, “when Senator Kawu Sumaila proposed a motion which he said was urgent on closing the border between Nigeria and Niger.
“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.
“After hearing the motion, it was agreed that since it is related to security, it should be suspended.”
He also mentioned that he intended to clarify the importance of the motion to the assembly, but the Senate President refused to grant him the chance to address the issue.
“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, 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,” Ndume said.