A storm seems to be gathering as two Senators from Bauchi State today engaged in a squabble over the citing of federal institutions in the state.
The Senators involved are Isah Misau representing Bauchi Central and Senator Ali Wakili representing Bauchi South. The pair, who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC), traded words on the floor of the Senate in a bid to attract a College of Education to their respective senatorial districts.
Senator Misau raised a point of order and informed the upper chamber that a newspaper publication yesterday detailed the items for a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND which included the proposed Federal College of Education Dass in Senator Wakili’s Bauchi South.
He opined that the citing of the College in Dass could hinder the proposed establishment of the Federal College of Education Misau in his senatorial zone of Bauchi Central.
He further lamented that Bauchi South already has six federal institutions; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Federal School of Nursing and Midwifery, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, National Open University study campus, and Federal Government Girls College.
“When Senator Ali Wakili brought this issue of establishing a college of education in Dass, I told him that his zone already has 6 federal institutions while the central zone I represent has none.
“Dass is just 47 kilometres away from Bauchi were all these institutions are located but he (Wakili) is talking about Emirates. This is the first time I am hearing about someone looking for school for emirate that is not even recognised at the federal level. We are talking about my senatorial zone that has nothing, I think it is not fair for them to have this federal institution,” Misau said.
He added that his constituents were on the verge of marching to the National Assembly in protest but for his intervention and called on the Senate to intervene and stop the progress of the College of Education Bill by dropping it from the public hearing.
Senator Wakili in responding to Misau accused him of trying to “derail” the Senate and argued that the establishment bill be allowed to undergo public hearing for the people to decide.
His submission set the red chamber in disarray which led to the involvement of the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan in the debate who said it is important that the executive makes it a policy for every senatorial zone to have a federal institution of education in line with an earlier resolution of the Senate.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over proceedings in his speech also recalled the Senate’s resolution on equitable distribution of federal institutions.
Hence, he mandated the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFUND to investigate Misau’s claims in line with the Senate’s resolution while ordering a halt on the planned public hearing pending the resolution of the matter.