By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
A Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) nominee, Aliyu Saidu Abubakar, who was undergoing screening by the Senate Committee on Communications (NCC) yesterday dared the legislative institution, reiterating that it should be scrapped.
Without any fear of equivocation, Abubakar described the Senate as nothing but a forum for waste of the nation’s economic resources.
Abubakar’s name had recently been forwarded to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari along with six others for confirmation as a member of the Governing Board of NCC to represent the North-east zone.
During his screening, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, had thought that Abubakar would be cowed by his search for confirmation as an NCC commissioner bearing in mind that he had persistently called for the scrapping of the Senate long before his nomination.
Against this background, Nnaji had prepared ahead of his coming as he displayed a file of his photographs while leading protests at various times to the gate of the National Assembly, demanding that the Senate should be scrapped.
But Nnaji was wrong as Abubakar only insisted that Nigeria must do away with the upper chamber because “the cost of running the Senate was high and therefore should be scrapped.”
However, Abubakar’s daring appearance later resulted in the exposition of perceived irregularities in his documents by the committee as the record of his credentials before the Senate showed that his birth certificate was missing. It also showed that he had no meaningful academic qualifications as only copies of a sworn affidavit and police report that he obtained in one day after his nomination were found. In the affidavit, Abubakar had claimed that he lost his credentials.
Besides, the committee revealed that his highest educational qualification was only one-year Diploma in Computer which he claimed to have obtained at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi with only a statement of result dated 23rd September, 2016 as an evidence. The revelation by the committee also showed that he had only obtained the statement of result after his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari last month.
The committee therefore queried why he had chosen to secure such documents only after his nomination. The committee also queried how he hoped to serve in such a sensitive position which it said would involve a lot of intellectual rigours, challenges and expertise for efficiency of the commission.
However, during his screening, the chairman-designate for the NCC board, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, expressed deep concern over the negative perception of the Senate by the public, recalling how as a senator, he had headed the Committee on Communications between 1999 and 2003.
He said he was disturbed by the turn of events in the Senate as he told the committee that he had a message for the Senate from the Leader of Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation.
“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….”Durojaye said.