Northern senators name Yar’Adua as Ningi’s replacement

Northern senators name Yar’Adua as Ningi’s replacement

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Members of the Northern Senators’ Forum (NSF) on Thursday named Sen. Abdulaziz Yar’Adua as the replacement for Sen. Abdul Ningi as the Chairman of the group.

Yar’Adua, a younger brother to the late President Umar Yar’Adua, hails from Katsina State.

He is also the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army.

The spokesman of the group, Sen. Kawu Sumaila, was dropped and replaced by Sen. Mohammed Monguno, who is from Borno State.

The group also held a quick meeting on Thursday to review strategies on how to coordinate the interest of the North, going forward by consulting members widely before taking decisions.

Yar’Adua’s emergence followed the resignation of Ningi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker Bauchi state on Tuesday.

Ningi’s resignation became public after the Senate suspended him for three months over his N3.7trillion budget ‘padding’ allegation.

Recall that Ningi had alleged that only N25tn, out of the N28.7tn budget for 2024 could be traced and tied to verifiable expenditure heads.

However, during its plenary on Tuesday presided over by the President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the Senate countered Ningi’s claims by providing proof that the alleged N3.7tn was the budget of nine (9) government bodies placed on First Line Charge and not captured in the documents Ningi used in making his conclusions.

The Senate, acting on a motion endorsed by the majority of senators, suspended Ningi for three months.

Yar’Adua, who spoke with journalists after the meeting of the forum, said the new leadership would consult widely before taking decisions.

He made a reference to concerns raised that the group appeared not to be operating as one body speaking with one voice.

“We are going to be consulting widely with all members.

“Our approach remains to consult, consult and consult more”, he stated.

He praised Ningi for the height he took the forum, assuring him that his contributions would not be forgotten.

Yar’Adua said, “I am deeply honoured and humbled to communicate to you today my acceptance as the Chairman of the Northern Senators’ Forum.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to my distinguished colleagues for this vote of confidence in me following the resignation of my distinguished elder brother Senator Abdul Ningi whom I hold in high esteem.

“I wish to acknowledge and commend the decent outing and the contributions he made during his tenure.”

He gave details of the aims and objectives of the group and how the new leadership would work in collaboration with the rest of Nigeria and the executive arm of government to achieve them.

Yar’Adua went on, “ I am aware of the challenges facing the Northern region which include, security, agriculture, education, healthcare, drug abuse and human trafficking. Others are so numerous to mention

“The major objective of the Northern Forum is to promote the interest of Nigeria first followed by development of the North through collaboration with our distinguished colleagues from the South and cooperating with the executive arm of government to ensure that the challenges of the region are attended to.

“We shall therefore work in consultation with our distinguished colleagues to preserve the unity and progress of our dear nation.

“In advancing these noble objectives, I am committed to streamlined activities within the Northern Senators Forum. We shall operate with transparency, accountability, and integrity, upholding the trust placed on us by the electorate.

“Our legislative discourse will continue to be characterized by civility, dignity, and adherence to the rule of law as we fulfill our lawmaking, policy-making, and oversight functions.

“I am confident that with our collective efforts and cooperation, we can effect positive change, uplift the North, and contribute to the overall development of our great nation.

“Together, let us embark on this journey with unwavering dedication and a steadfast commitment to serving our constituents and our country.”


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