Suspended senator, Ali Ndume, has said he will not apologise to Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Senate in order to get reinstated.
Ndume, who represents Borno South at the Upper Legislative arm said this while he visited his constituency in Borno over the weekend.
The senator was placed on a 181-day suspension by the Senate after demanding that his colleagues investigate Saraki and a fellow senator, Dino Melaye, over allegations levelled against them by external sources.
Mr. Saraki was accused of using fake Customs papers to import an official vehicle while Mr. Melaye was accused of lying that he graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University.
Following Ndume’s request, the Senate carried out the investigation and cleared the lawmakers, with Ndume subsequently punished for raising a false claims.
However, reacting while addressing his constituents, Ndume said his suspension was not because of his call to investigate his colleagues but because of his insistence on speaking the truth.
He further stated that Senators who worked against him are currently regretting their actions.
The senator who was accompanied by party chieftains distributed poverty alleviation items worth millions of naira to his constituents at the palace of the Emir of Biu.
Ndume said: “I will not remain a Senator for the rest of my life; but for the time I serve as the representative of my people, I shall continue to do and tell the truth. I know if I had erred, I would not have been received here. But I enjoy the support of my people because they know my suspension was because I spoke the truth.
“I know those that suspended me are going now regretting their actions because of the massive protest that trailed my illegal suspension. After seeing the support that I enjoy from Nigerians, the same people that suspended me came to say I should tender an apology so that my suspension could be lifted. But I said no to that because I did not commit any offence in the first place.
“They later came to say the Senate President, Senator Melaye and I should go and reconcile our difference; and I told them that I had no issue with either of them, so there is nothing to reconcile – as far as I am concerned we have a good working relationship.
“My religion enjoins me to always stand on the path of truth even if I turn around and found that everyone has deserted me.
“Firstly, I know my trouble with them started because of my support for the policies and ideals of President Muhammadu Buhari. Secondly, when Ibrahim Magu’s name was brought to the Senate as nominee for the Chairmanship of EFCC, some group in the senate insisted that he would not be cleared. And in my position as the then Senate Majority leader, it was incumbent upon me to support any nominee sent in by the Executive. Besides that, the same nominee is from my state, Borno; besides, he had committed no offence to be denied the senate clearance.
“Above all, the majority of Nigerians loved him because he is doing the job well even as an acting chairman of EFCC.
“Thirdly, when he was brought in for screening and it was not successful, I took courage to tell them that they were acting out of the Senate order.
“And lastly, my position on the allegation levelled on the Senate President as well as the issue of Senator Dino’s certificate by a news medium was the final straw they needed to break the camel’s back.
“But Your Royal Highness, it is incumbent upon we the Senators, under Order 14-15 that if there is any issue or development or any action that tends to rubbish the integrity of the Senate, we stand up to ensure that we defend the name of the Senate. All I asked for was to investigate an allegation published in a news medium against two of our colleagues.
“The President of the Senate has all the powers to rule me out of order if he felt that the issues I raised were not welcomed on the floor of the Senate. But because they had always wanted to crucify me, they seized the moment to unleash their built-up angst against me. So, they gave a dog to hang me. And they did that when majority of the senators were not on seat.
“I thank God this turned out good to me, because it made me know how much love I enjoy from Nigerians,” he added.
The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, has reacted to his summon by the senate over an “uncomplimentary” remark he made after the upper chamber suspended Senator Ali Ndume for making false allegations against Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki and Senator Dino Melaye.