Seriake Dickson, senator representing Bayelsa west, on Tuesday confronted Aishatu Dahiru, his colleague from Adamawa, over the latter’s claim regarding the size of his state.
While speaking at the senate plenary session, Dahiru said the population of Mubi is bigger than that of the entire Bayelsa.
She made the comment to justify the need for the creation of Federal Medical Centre, Mubi.
Presenting a bill on the proposed hospital, the senator said the population of Mubi north and south LGAs is “very much higher than Bayelsa state’s eight local government areas.”
“Nonetheless, this town has suffered from government neglect in terms of federal presence especially in the area of tertiary healthcare delivery,” she added.
This did not go down well with Dickson who immediately kicked against her submission, arguing that the size of Bayelsa is bigger than that of many states.
“In my senatorial district, it will take me four days to go round. In my local government, Sagbama, it will take me three days to go round,” the former governor said.
“I just felt I should rise up to enlighten the sponsor of this bill and, by so doing, the rest of the country.
“When people talk about population, they should be careful because if you go deep and ask who conducted the census, who verified what and what were counted, who are the residents and how justifiable, you would shudder.”
At this point, Senate President Ahmad Lawan intervened and cautioned Dickson against digressing from the main argument.
“The discussion is not on the population of Bayelsa or population census conducted before; we should rather concentrate on the main focus, which is on the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre,” he said.
Notwithstanding, Dickson reiterated his point that “debates and submissions must be based on verifiable facts.”
“Dahiru referred to population figures which are not verifiable. The basis is not explained,” he said.
“I only rose to enlighten and contribute without prejudice to the merits or demerits of the bill; that the factual premise that she has put forward as a reason or one of the reasons why this bill should be considered is faulty.”