Chief Whip of the Senate, Ali Ndume, on Thursday, February 8, said he harbours no hatred for the Yoruba race when he criticized the relocation of some staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from Abuja to Lagos.
He said his two daughters are married to Yorubas and have given him five Yoruba grandchildren.
He, however, said he has no regrets for criticising plans by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to relocate some departments of the apex bank from its headquarters in Abuja to Lagos State.
Ndume, who made these assertions in a statement in Abuja, insisted that his intervention was based on reality and the irrelevance of the action by the leadership of the CBN.
He noted that following his comment on the issue some elements have been attacking him in the media by questioning the credentials of his daughter who is a staff of the CBN.
He said even though he is a lawmaker, his daughter, and children are qualified to work in any government agency as long as they possess the required credentials.
He said the veiled blackmail against him would not stop him from pointing out lapses in government, saying it was his way of assisting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed.
He said he’ll continue to speak truth to power whenever those saddled with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the country err.
He challenged those attacking him and claimed that he harbours ill feelings against the Yorubas to show their pan-Nigerian credentials, saying his two daughters are married to Yoruba men and have both given him five Yoruba grandchildren.
He called on the CBN governor, Olayemi Cardoso, to focus on stabilising the monetary situation in the country, especially the spiralling exchange rate and the rising inflation, rather than dwelling on the relocation of departments to an already over-populated Lagos State.
He denied being the mouthpiece of certain interest groups.
Ndume said he doesn’t speak for the North, nor Northern senators, but in the interest of Nigerians and President Tinubu whom he has tremendous respect for.
Ndume said: “I stand by what I’ve said about the relocation of FAAN and some departments of the CBN to Lagos State. If it is about decongestion, Lagos is not the right place. There are CBN offices in all the states of the Federation. Why move the departments to Lagos which is already populated?
“Since my intervention, people have been using a particular newspaper to attack me and saying that I hate the Yorubas. They’re ignorant and they don’t know what they’re saying.
“My two daughters are married to Yoruba men, one from Lagos State and the other from Kwara State. And I’ve five grandchildren who are Yoruba. How can I hate them and allow my daughters to marry them?
“Those saying I hate the Yorubas, how many of their sons and daughters are married to Hausas or Northerners? I’m a true Nigerian.
“They’ve also been questioning the fact that my daughter works at the CBN. They should check her records. She’s a Nigerian and she’s qualified to work anywhere, including the CBN.
“I’ve been the one pleading with her to remain there. She’s almost done with her Ph.D. and she wants to go to the classroom as a lecturer. She’s a brilliant lady.
“Instead of these attacks on my person, the CBN should do its job and address the rising inflation and stabilising our exchange rates. They should leave me alone.
“President Tinubu is my friend and he knows that I support him 100%. He appreciates honest feedback and will not tolerate what these people around him who are becoming a political cartel are doing.
“I’ll continue to speak the truth and point out areas where corrections are needed. That’s my job as a senator. It is not personal at all.”
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