Tuesday, August 18, 2015 10:56 pm
Nigeria’s Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume on Tuesday called for removal of privileges attached to principal officers at the National Assembly.
Ndume made the call when he spoke with newsmen in Maiduguri.
He said the removal of the privileges would eliminate the leadership struggle among legislators.
“I am championing the issue of downgrading the position of presiding officers at the National Assembly especially the Senate President so as to truly be the first among equals.
“What causes leadership crisis is because of the excessive privileges attached to the offices’’, he said.
Ndume added that once the privileges attached to positions were removed, fighting among legislators for the offices would be greatly reduced.
“If the leadership is truly one among the equals, you will find it difficult even to get somebody fighting to be the senate president.
“Somehow, you see a senator out of the 109 others suddenly acquiring enormous privileges just because of being elected as senate president’’, he said.
He reiterated that all the privileges should be removed and the senate president should just preside at the Assembly: no more, no less.
“He should not be given more privileges than his colleagues.”
Ndume, however, said that the senate president can be entitled to some allowances.
“Although he might be given some responsibility allowances, the Senate president or presiding officers should not be given excessive privileges like having escorts, long convoys of government vehicles, dozens of armed security men, among others,.
“If you say that he is number three man in the country, so we must protect him. What about millions of Nigerians who do not even have food to eat?’’ (