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Ndume: Patriotism Made Me Speak On Relocation Of FAAN, CBN Offices

Ali Ndume, chief whip of the senate, says he was being patriotic when he spoke on the relocation of the headquarters of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and some offices of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to Lagos.

On Wednesday, Ndume warned President Bola Tinubu that the planned relocation of the aforementioned offices would have political consequences.

The senator’s remarks divided opinions and elicited outrage in some sections of the social media.

While Doyin Okupe, a former presidential aide, said Ndume’s comments were capable of sparking a crisis, Sunday Karimi, senator representing Kogi west, said his colleague spoke for himself and not for the senate.

However, Okupe backtracked later, saying the Borno senator means well for the country.

In a statement on Thursday in response to Karimi, the chief whip said he did not speak for the senate or northern senators, but for himself.

“With all due respect, I did not speak on behalf of the northern senators or the senate but as a northerner in support of the majority of Northerners and some Nigerians who are against the action of CBN governor and the minister of aviation,” he said.

The senator went on to quote Theodore Roosevelt, a former US president, who said: “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country”.

“It is patriotic to support him in so far as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else,” Ndume added.

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

He added that: “What I said is my personal opinion and position”.

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