• Sunday, July 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Ireti Kingibe, FCT lawmaker laments exclusion from key decisions at Senate

Ireti Heebah Kingibe

Ireti Kingibe, the sole lawmaker representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the Labour Party, voiced her frustration on Tuesday about being consistently excluded from critical matters affecting the capital territory which she represents at the Senate.

Kingibe raised her concerns during the consideration of the FCT committee’s report on the N98.5 billion supplementary budget.

Citing Order 10 of the Senate rules, she said, “I would like to draw the attention of the Senate to the fact that, I am the highest elected officer in the FCT, where four million people live. I also want to call the attention of the Senate that though I am on the Committee of the FCT, whenever critical matters like budget, or anything to do with the FCT are being discussed I am never told. All I see is that it has been brought to the Senate.”

However, Godswill Akpabio, Senate President interrupted Kingibe, pointing out that the order she was relying on required a motion which she did not present and asked her to bring a morning at the next legislative day.

The order of privilege which Kingibe came under stipulates that “Any Senator may rise at any time to speak upon a matter of Privilege suddenly arising, and he shall be prepared to move, without Notice, a motion declaring that a contempt or breach of privilege has been committed, or referring the matter to the Committee on Ethics and Privileges, but if the matter is raised in Committee of the Whole Senate, the Chairman shall leave the Chair to report progress.”

Kingibe’s grievances highlight an ongoing rift with Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the FCT, and the Senate Committee. Since assuming their roles in 2023, tensions between Wike and Kingibe have escalated, particularly over key issues affecting the FCT.

Kingibe alleged that the FCT Minister does not relate with her on matters that affect the capital city,  and snubs all her attempts to work with him. In contrast, Wike has shown a preference for working with former FCT lawmaker Philip Aduda, openly stating that he has no interest in collaborating with Kingibe and will not be coerced into any relationship.

In January 2024, amid worsening insecurity in the city, Kingibe accused Wike of ignoring her attempts to address the root causes of kidnappings and other security issues in the FCT. She emphasized that Wike, being new to the FCT, needed to collaborate with elected lawmakers who better understand the territory.

Kingibe further alleged that her discord with the Wike extends to other elected officials of the capital territory.