Senate Plenary in Disarray as Ndume Walks Out
During today’s Senate plenary, chaos ensued as Chief Whip Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) raised a point of order. Ndume criticized Senate President Godswill Akpabio for not addressing errors made by Senator Summaila Kawo (NNPP, Kano South) during his motion to discuss the reopening of the border between Niger Republic and Nigeria.
Ndume accused Kawo of introducing the motion without reading its title and invoked Order 51 of the Senate’s standing rules, which mandates the correction of errors observed during plenary.
“This is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, guided by laws, rules, and procedures. If errors are observed during any session, they must be corrected before proceeding,” Ndume emphasized.
However, Akpabio swiftly intervened, stating that once he ruled on an issue, it could not be revisited. Consequently, he ruled Ndume out of order. Senator Sunday Karimi (APC Kogi West) tried to support Ndume’s argument through another point of order but was also ruled out of order by the Senate President.
In an attempt to address the situation, Deputy President of the Senate, Jibrin Barau, quickly cited Order 16, which requires a substantive motion for the correction or review of earlier decisions. Akpabio supported Barau’s point of order, further infuriating Ndume, who raised another point of order (Order 54) to seek the correction of a perceived error. However, the President of the Senate ruled him out of order without allowing him to fully present his argument.
Frustrated by Akpabio’s actions, Ndume angrily left the chamber, leading to a closed-door meeting among Senators to resolve the ongoing dispute.