Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno South, has asked the Federal Government to divert salaries of National Assembly members to fund security agencies in the country.
He said this in an interview with The PUNCH published over the weekend.
Ndume, who is chairman of Senate Committee on Army, also said the idea should be extended to all Nigerians.
According to him, people will sacrifice anything to be safe.
“It is not too much to stop paying us if the essence is to use the money to secure Nigeria. I am not talking about the salaries of the politicians alone, but the salaries of everybody. Okay, which do you prefer? Is it your freedom to move around freely without fear or your salary that you will be spending in fear?
“Won’t you sacrifice your salary to have adequate security? Let us be honest. If you know that you cannot come to this place to conduct this interview safely, won’t you gladly offer to release your salary to enjoy security? Even when there is no security problem, some people are being owed salaries yet they did not stop working.
“Besides, what work are we even doing now that many people are working from home? The government is still paying people for staying at home. The government should stop paying salaries and address the whole issue of insecurity.
“If there is no money, stop paying salaries and other allowances and use the money to protect the citizens”, he said.
On insinuations that the north will suffer if the country breaks up, Ndume explained that the region is not a liability to other parts of the country.
According to him, oil has been discovered in states such as Sokoto and Bauchi, but the federal government has not commenced exploration.
He rejected reports that Hausa and Fulani are dominating the country’s political structure.
“For me, and for an average Nigerian, what is the big deal about restructuring? Nothing! When you are talking about people being cheated despite what they are bringing to the table, who is a liability to another? We get what we need in the North from the South. Similarly, the South gets what it needs from the North. That is how we stay. Nobody is a liability to another,” he stated.
“The people of Niger Republic, a country of desert, are surviving, very proudly. In fact, they are more secure than Nigeria these days. This is the same thing with Cameroun. When you talk about oil, 90 per cent of the resources we depend on to survive in Nigeria is coming from the South-South geopolitical zone, yet the people there are not talking about dividing the country.
“They are also not worried about who is spending the money realised from oil sales. In fact, the South-South people are only crying that the oil derivation accruing to them should be more than the current 13 per cent they are getting.
“They have never demanded the restructuring of Nigeria. Yet they are the hens that are laying the golden egg. It is only Ondo State that has an oil producing area in the South-West, and in the South-East, it is only Abia State that has an oil producing area. So, where did you get that idea that the Igbo are being cheated? Even now, oil has been found in other areas of the country now. There is crude oil in Sokoto, the only thing is that its exploitation has not started. In fact, if you go to some places like Zamfara, you don’t need machines to dig the ground before you will start bringing out gold.
“If you go to Borno, there is oil and gas in the Chad basin. If you go to the Gongola basin too, there is oil there. It has also been confirmed that there is oil in Bauchi.
“What are you talking about? We in the North are not a liability to other regions at all. When people describe us as a liability, I feel disgusted.”
Ndume also expressed the readiness of the national assembly to amend the necessary parts of the 1999 constitution.