Nigerian Senate holds valedictory session

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

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The outgoing President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki has stated that the constant frictions between the Executive and the Legislature may persist, unless there is a mutual respect for the constitutional powers of the two arms, especially the Parliament over budget processing and passage.

Senator Saraki, who said this during his remarks at the valedictory session to mark the end of the 8th Senate, also asserted that there must be a concerted effort to ensure that the executive and legislature work more harmoniously for better delivery of good governance.

“I thank Majority Leader Ahmed Lawan; you have made your mark here and the record reflects it. I also thank former Majority Leader Ali Ndume; you also made your mark. Between the former Majority Leader and the current one, it is clear that one of you will be President of the Senate. Whoever emerges, I wish you the very best of luck. This I know: whatever the capacity, we should always do our best to serve the interest of the people. We should also have it in the back of our minds that power is transient.”

The lawmakers who took their turns to give a farewell remark, called on stakeholders in the country’s polity, to ensure all hands are on deck to develop the various democratic institutions for sustainance of the nation’s democracy.

Most of the Senators, especially those not returning to the ninth Senate, urged the successor of the ninth President of the Senate, to uphold the principles of power separation among the arms of the government.

The Senators who expressed concern about the independence of the Legislature, noted that the challenges encountered in the last four years, were part of a learning process.

Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan applauded his colleagues especially from the opposition caucus, noting that, “I supported the government of the PDP when I was in the opposition. I am also commending my colleagues for supporting the APC-led government in the last four years”.

“We can make the legislators relevant and respected when lawmakers do their constitutional roles effectively from oversight to legislative activities and representation.We need to be united and focused irrespective of our political parties so that Nigerians would be better for it,” he stressed.

For Senator Dino Melaye, the last four years was a period worth remembering. “Today, Mr President, you are not just completing your term but you are going to have a glorious exit against all odds. I congratulate you.  Mr President, it is your time to laugh.”

“I have every cause to glorify God who is above every other man. Last year, I was arraigned in 12 different courts but here am I standing and returned undisputed as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And i say to God alone be the glory forever and ever.”

The  9th National Assembly is now set for inauguration on Tuesday June 11, 2019 and one thing that is sure, is that, many of the lawmakers especially in the Senate, will be missing in action in the next four years with Dr. Bukola Saraki, top on the list.

Ime Njoku