Senate panel chairman urges Buhari to suspend Kachikwu, Baru

Senate panel chairman urges Buhari to suspend Kachikwu, Baru

- Senator Tayo Alasoadura has advised President Buhari to suspend Kachikwu and Baru

- Baru said the two men should be ordered to step down from their positions until investigation is over

- He added that President Buhari doubling as the minister of petroleum is one of the causes of the problem between Kachikwu and Baru

The senator representing Ondo Central senatorial district, Tayo Alasoadura, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend both minister of state for petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr Maikanti Baru.

Recall that previously reported that Kachikwu alleged that the NNPC boss had repeatedly sidelined and disrespected the board of the national oil firm, which is chaired by the minister of state.

The minister, in a leaked letter, had informed Buhari that against the rules, some over $25 billion contracts were never reviewed or discussed with him or the board of NNPC.

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Senator Alasoadura, while addressing the controversy caused by Kachikwu's leaked letter to the president, said that it is important that both Baru and Kachikwu be asked to stay away from office pending the completion of the investigation on the case.

Alasoadura, on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels TV, said he believed the two men should be suspended.

He said: “I believe so; especially the man who is doing the day-to-day running of the organisation. In order not to hinder or hamper that investigation, because records will be needed and even from the date of the leakage of that letter, I think action should have been taken to ensure that nothing will be missing when investigations start.

“So, I think the two of them should be asked to step aside and when investigation is over, whoever is culpable will go and whoever is not culpable, will continue with his duties.”

Alasoadura who is also the chairman of the Senate committee on petroleum resources (Upstream) urged President Buhari to step down from his post as the minister of petroleum.

He said: “Judging from the many problems plaguing our country today, I believe Mr President should devote more time to other things and let an independent person run the petroleum resources ministry who will then report to him twice or once a week."

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Meanwhile, gathered that President Buhari has called for sanity in the embarrassing public debacle between Kachikwu and Baru.

There are reports that the president specifically ordered that public bickering must stop.

The minister had met with the president at the Aso Rock Villa on Friday, October 6, and a source privy to the meeting said Buhari spoke about compelling needs “to tackle issues such as attacks on oil and gas facilities, funding of new projects and rehabilitation of refineries as well as implementation of Nigeria’s new petroleum policy in order to guarantee long term survival of the nation’s oil and gas industry."

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