A nominee of President Muhamadu Buhari for the position of national commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Aliyu Abubakar, told senators, before whom he appeared for screening on Wednesday, that the Senate should be scrapped.
Mr. Abubakar, nominated to represent North East on the NCC board, told the Senate committee on communications chaired by Gift Nnaji (PDP-Enugu) that the upper legislative arm was a waste of resources and, therefore, “must go”.
Mr. Abubakar, Bauchi State, participated in the #OccupyNASS campaign, months ago, seeking end to bicameral legislature, scrapping of the Senate and removal of Bukola Saraki as Senate President in view of his corruption trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
One of the committee members challenged Mr. Abubakar on why he led a protest against the Senate, same body he faced to be screened and confirmed for appointment.
He was confronted with photographs of himself and others protesting at the NASS gate and asking that the Senate be scrapped.
But an unrepentant Mr. Abubakar not only owned up to participating in the organised action against the Senate, but insisted and gave reasons why it should be scrapped.
That senators receive huge transport, wardrobe and dressing allowances and they purchase expensive cars from public purse, an economic loss to the country, Mr. Abubakar said.
“The Senate is an avenue for wastage of scarce economic resources of the country… Senate must go,” he said.
Addressing reporters after the session with the Senate committee, he attempted to clarify his position, saying that he only admitted to participating in the protest against NASS and stated reasons why he did.
“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 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.”
Still, when asked if he stood by his position during the protest, he said, “The Senate must go because something has to be done to cut down the expenses on the Senate. I still maintain that.”
culled - premiumtimes