Senate Scrapping Campaign boosted by the Nominee for NCC board

The move to scrap the upper chamber, the senate received a boost in a dramatic manner on Wednesday at the national assembly just there was a call for collaboration towards repackaging the senate.

Drama unfolding in the Senate Wednesday as the North-East nominee for appointment to the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Aliyu Saidu Abubakar, called for the immediate scrapping of the upper chamber

Abubakar made the call during the screening of the presidential nominees for the Governing Board of the Nigerian Communications NCC, by the Senator Gilbert Nnaji-led committee on Communications.

A member of the committee had confronted the nominee asking why he once led a protest for the scrapping of the Senate.

The member told the nominee that he was appearing before the same Senate he wanted scrapped.

Abubakar in his response insisted that the cost of running the senate was high and therefore should be scrapped.

The nominee noted that a situation where the senators had been receiving huge transport, ward robe and dressing allowances and others was a clear economic loss to the country.

He also listed the purchase expensive vehicles for Senators as another reason why the upper chamber should done away with.

The committee presented several photographs of the nominee leading organised protests against the Senate particularly at the gate of the National Assembly recently.

The apparent unrepentant Abubakar told the committee that he has no regret for his actions.

He insisted that he was still convinced that “the Senate is an avenue for wastage of scarce economic resources of the country.”

The Senate, he said, “must go”

Speaking after the session, Abubakar, told reporters that the Senate should be scrapped.

The Bauchi State nominee however denied telling the committee that the Senate must be scrapped.

He said, “It is not true that I told members of the committee that the Senate should be scrapped. They asked me whether I was part of the group that agitated for the scrapping of the Senate and I said yes because of so many things involved in the Senate and their budget.

“They asked me to state the reasons why we were agitating for the scrapping of the Senate, I said it is because of their huge budget; they (Senators) consume a lot of resources from the government; they put it in their own budget.

“Also, they have transport allowance and, yet, they budget a lot of money to acquire vehicles.”

He said that the committee confronted him with several photographs of him during the ‘Occupy National Assembly’ protests, including the ones held at the National Assembly and in Bauchi State which he did not deny.

Asked if he still stood by his words that it was a waste to keep the Senate and that it should be scrapped, Abubakar replied, “The Senate must go because something has to be done to cut down the expenses on the Senate. I still maintain that.”

The committee had earlier listed what it described as “grave irregularities” in the personal records of the nominee.

The committee noted that it was curious that apart from birth certificate, there were only copies of court affidavit and police extract dated the same day, claiming loss of his credentials.

The committee noted that it appears the court affidavit and police extract were procured after Abubakar had been nominated to serve in the board.

The committee also said that it was interesting that the highest academic qualification of the nominee was a one-year “Diploma in Computer” from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

It said that the attached statement of result was dated 23rd September 2016, also obtained after he had been nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Requested to show reason why he chose to present documents that were procured shortly after his nomination and also why he believed that he was qualified to function as a National Commissioner in such a critical agency like NCC given the rigours, challenges and required expertise for efficiency of the commission, Abubakar said that he “did not bother to go for the credentials.”

He explained further that he “only went to school merely for knowledge having been self-employed prior to the nomination.”

The NCC chairman-designate, Senator Bisi Durojaiye expressed concern over the public perception of the Senate.

Durojaiye noted that as former Senator who also headed the Committee on Communications he was committed and passionate for a very strong Senate that grows in leaps and bound.

He said, “Please permit me to convey a message from the oldest living former Senator Chief Reuben Farosanti who just clocked 91. Although I have presented it to the Senate President, Senator Farosanti had requested for a closed door session between the current Senate and the old generation to discuss. Considering the heat from the other side this has become imperative….”

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, urged the nominees to seek to add value to the regulatory agency and ensure that Nigerian masses truly got the greatest benefits of their appointment if they scale through.

Nnaji said that the committee would make its report to the plenary for approval and confirmation.