Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, has provided insight into his decision to leave the Senate chamber during a plenary session on Tuesday.
Ndume’s departure followed a clash with Senate President Godswill Akpabio during the session.
He had attempted to draw the Senate’s attention to what he perceived as violations of the Standing Orders of the Senate.
During the session, Senator Ndume cited procedural infringements, stating that they violated established parliamentary protocol.
However, Senate President Akpabio ruled him out of order, claiming that the order cited by Ndume did not apply to the matter he was discussing.
Ndume then left the chamber in apparent frustration.
He later clarified his reasons for leaving in an interview with BBC Hausa, in Abuja, noting that the situation arose when Senator Kawu Sumaila introduced a motion regarding the closure of the Nigeria-Niger border, which he claimed was urgent.
“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 related to security, it should be suspended,” explained Ndume.
Senator Ndume added that he wanted to explain the importance of the motion but was not granted the opportunity to speak.
He clarified that the closure of the border was not initiated by the President of Nigeria but rather during his tenure as President of ECOWAS.
He stated, “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.”
Senator Ndume clarified that he left the session to pray, a fact that was misinterpreted by his colleagues and the media.
“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.