Politics

Ninth Assembly: Independence of Senate may be under threat – Senator Ndume

Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno south, has asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to reconvene plenary.

Former Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, on Thursday said that the Ninth National Assembly must work to protect its independence to avoid turbulent sessions.

The Borno South senator said that the only thing every parliament has going for it is its independence which it must guard zealously.

Ndume who is also one of the front runners for the position of the Senate President spoke while contributing to the valedictory session to mark the end of legislative business for the Eight Senate.

He noted that the difference between democracy and military government is the independence of parliament.

He insisted that the legislature must be seen as the symbol of democracy whose independence must be guarded and protected at all times.

He said that the parliament remains the pillar of democracy in any country.

Ndume said: “We had loads of disagreements. I respect your resilience and your ability to stand for what you believe in. We started together and we were doing fine. What happened was part of the learning process.

“My concern is the independence of this arm of government. That is not to say we must not work with the other side (Presidency).

“I see a dangerous thing coming. The only thing that makes democracy different from military rule is the Parliament. We need to ensure the independence of the Parliament.

“If we take away the Parliament, what we have is not democracy. I am one of those that were controversial in the last four years. Within the process, we may have offended one another. I take nothing personal.

“This institution is very important. Let us protect the sanctity of the parliament. This is the Nigerian Senate. There is no APC or PDP Senate. This is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We will continue to support the other side but we must work at all times to protect the sanctity of the institution of the parliament. We must continue to enhance the sanctity of the Senate at all times.

It was sobering when Ndume singled out Senator Dino Melaye to apologise to him “if I offended you in the during my stay in the Eight Senate.”

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