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Tinubu seems not to understand issues affecting Nigeria — Sen Ningi

By Ishola Michael

Senator representing Bauchi Central in the Senate, Abdul Ningi, has said that from all indications, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu seems not to understand the country and the issues affecting its components, especially the Northern part.

The observation was made by Ningi while speaking in a BBC Hause programme monitored in Bauchi on Saturday.

Ningi in a loud voice said that things are getting worse under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu since May 2023.

The Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum (NSF), said the Federal Government has not performed to expectations, adding that things are getting worse compared to when President Tinubu took over the leadership of the country in May 2023.

According to him, “People are going through a lot of difficulties. We live in villages. We are going there to interact with them and they are lamenting seriously. They have nowhere to go, so they have no one to express their grievances to than us.

“I think Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not even understand this country and he does not understand the difficulties of ruling a country like Nigeria.

“Probably, he has his thinking of what governance is, but I don’t blame him so much, because when he was campaigning for the seat, there was no agreement or promise between him and the people.

“People were just blinded and voted for him because he supported former President Muhammadu Buhari when he was contesting. Some even voted for him because he is a Muslim, as such, he needed their votes on whether he can or cannot do the right thing for the country.

“The most painful thing is that Northerners stood for him and did all they could to bring him to power, but unfortunately, there was no agreement between them and the President on what should be done to the North and the Northerners.

“Especially taking into consideration the importance and significant projects that the North has been yearning and aspiring to get for a long time. For example, the Ajaokuta project, the Mambilla power project, the dredging of River Niger and other notable projects.

“What mostly disturbed their sleep were the national budgets of 2013 and 2014 in which they earmarked Billions of Naira for critical projects but they were neglected by the then President Goodluck Jonathan, saying when President Buhari took over in 2015, they thought it was one of the projects he would pay attention to, but unfortunately, it was not possible for over eight years.

“Even road construction like Kano-Abuja is not yet completed, as if it was cursed by someone, despite the road being the soul of our travellers in the North.

Speaking further, the Senator said that they don’t criticise the government as the opposition party is supposed to do because religious and ethnic biases have been brought into politics, citing an example that lawmakers from the North-West and North-East were stopped from opposition leaders in the Senate.

According to him, “If you look at it from this scenario, the majority of those in opposition are from the North-East and the North-West, but we were not allowed to be the leaders of the opposition in the Senate.

“This is one of the reasons why we said we would go back and look at what is happening under the umbrella of the Northern Senators Forum, which is under my leadership.”

On the transfer of some government agencies to Lagos, Abdul Ningi said, “As I speak, our people, especially the leaders are yet to take any action to find the solution. That is why I am not even surprised.

“These things that are happening are of two categories. Some affect the North only, and some affect the entire country. What we are doing now as leaders of the Forum of Northerners, we are trying to address the problem or reduce its strength without allowing politics to come in.”

On the 2024 budget, he said that for the past three months, they have engaged consultants to review the budget for them as members of the Northern Senators Forum.

According to him, “We have some experts that are working on it line by line. We have seen the huge damage that was done not only to the North but the entire country in that budget. We are supposed to sit with the Senate President to inform him about what we have observed.

“We want to show him what we have seen in the budget that is not acceptable, we will not accept them and we don’t want the country to continue spending money on those things. Apart from what the National Assembly did on the floor, there was another budget that was done underground, which we didn’t know.

“The new things we have discovered in the budget were not known to us. We haven’t seen them in the budget that was debated and considered on the floor of the National Assembly.”

He added that “there was a budget of N28 trillion but that what was officially passed by the National Assembly was N25 trillion. So there is N3 trillion on top. Where are they, where is it going? So, we need to know this. There are a lot of things. We are coming up with a report and we will show the president himself and ask him if he is aware or not.

“This is what we intend to do. We are to meet the President. We will talk to him about the Mambilla power project, Ajaokuta and the River Niger dredging. We will talk to him about the Niger Republic.

“Recently, they said they will construct a dam, this is not good for us. The action taken by ECOWAS has affected the relationship between Nigeria and Niger.

“There was an agreement that they would not construct a dam so that the Kainji Dam would be intact and we would give them electricity in return.

“Over One billion US Dollars was spent on Mambila, BBC has reported. Where is that money? Who collected the money? We need to know and see what can be done. This Mambila is like the future of the North. Every part of the country has its holds as a symbol that will save them in the future.

“One of our weaknesses in the North is that we don’t love ourselves and our region so much that we don’t care about the future. We are just living anyhow. We just love the region in our mouths not at heart and I am seriously worried about that.”

Abdul Ningi said that the security challenges in the North are worrying saying, “There is nowhere in the South where someone will be abducted and spend seven days in custody of the abductors. Look at Katsina, Zamfara, and Benue. I am even afraid that one day we’ll wake up and see that states like Zamfara have been taken away from the country. It is possible to go by what is happening.“

-Nigerian Tribune

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Posted by on Mar 11 2024. Filed under Senate, Headlines, Latest Politics, Legislature, Raw Politics, Today's Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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