Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomenewsSenate Adjourns To July 4, Over Lawmakers Welfare

Senate Adjourns To July 4, Over Lawmakers Welfare

The Senate recessed on Wednesday until July 4 so that its Committee on Welfare could finalize the distribution of funds, offices, and interests to senators.

The interests will encompass, among other things, office space, transportation, and lodging.

In a press conference at the National Assembly, Senator Ahmed Ningi (APC Bauchi Central) stated that the Red Chamber likewise commended the House of Representatives on its rancor-free election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, respectively.

Senator Ningi also said that the Upper Chamber sent “communications to international bodies like the EU, AU, and the other legislative National bodies” during the occasion of the private meeting.

He said that the lawmakers had planned an early resumption after a two week break but for the pending Sallah holiday.

The Lawmaker further revealed the resolve of the 10th Assembly to safe the country from implosion, adding “This nation was crashing some few months back but with what is happening right now especially with the inauguration of the National Assembly, I am very positive that we are going to save this country, this country will benefit from our experiences and with the faces I have seen in the Senate in particular no doubt in my mind that the Senate will be an entirely different Senate this time around.”

“I have been out of the National Assembly for eight years. I was also here for 16 years.

“We have come a long way and I believe without you this democracy which I personified by the National Assembly would not have been here for the last 24 years.

“That it has attained 24 years. It is as a result of your work. You have been there and you have also been accused just like each and every member of the parliament.

You have been accused of corruption, indolence, you have been accused of so many things, that members of the National Assembly have been accused and this work has to be done.”

This is as he dismissed concerns of a rancorous executive and legislative relations, as he maintained “We are not going to be confrontational as we have never been, but we are not going to be laid back legislators to make sure we understand some things, we make sure they understand our powers to make sure that we understand our limitations.

“We will outrightly inform the executive of our powers under the constitution, under the House rules and under the legislative matters privileges.

We are not going to be caged. I am very happy this afternoon that the first thing that the Senate President did was to call for an executive session with very exhaustive deliberations and I am happy he has started on a very clean slate.”

On the resolve of the 10th Assembly to be different from its predecessor, the Bauchi lawmaker pointed out, “I can see that he is ready for this job and we have assured him that once he gives us our respect, we are going to accord him our full loyalty.

“And we also cautioned him that inspite of whatever happened, the Senate is the institution that made him Senate President and the Chairman of the National Assembly.

“Because he is a ranking Senator he understands that on behalf of the people of this country over the years things have not been done so well.

That time will give us another opportunity to redo what we have not been able to do in the last couple of years.”

The experienced legislature urged for media to place the country on the path of development, as he underscored that “want to call on the media in particular to remain steadfast in what they are doing, we don’t have any other country other than Nigeria.

“I know we have challenges of tribal sentiments, religious sentiments, regional sentiments; they all interplay within the Nigerian body politics but at the end of the day we bear the consequences.

“We have tested insecurity and it is not a respecter of anybody from the executive to the legislature and to the common man and even the Nigerian security forces have been confronted by this insecurity and there is the issue of poverty and anger in the polity.

“Therefore if we don’t put Nigeria first which is easier said than done. We must make sure that this country is pushed forward, we must make sure that we add value.

As you write your report, encourage members of the National Assembly when they need encouragement and also call the attention of the National Assembly members when you have noticed their limitations.

“You must also read the constitution yourself, read the House rules, understand our powers, what we can do and what we cannot do and then help us call the executive to order when the need arises.

Try to encourage us to do what is right all the time.”

On the outcome of the minority caucus meeting, he explained, “the election has come and gone. I adjudged it free and fair inspite of any insinuation whether somebody is coerced or not.

“I don’t believe in that. I don’t believe a Senator will be made to do what he does not want to do.

“It was a free election. It was open and it was keenly contested. Having said that, initially we had our own terms of agreement with the various Senate presidential aspirants.

“We wrote to all of them unfortunately time was not on our side to have gotten a reply from them but for me it doest matter who gets what it all depends on the leadership, the presiding officers, you can decide not to have not to give me any committee but there will be a time when you will need me and that has been the tradition of the National Assembly.

“It is always give and take. We are 50 members of the opposition, the ruling party has 59, we are watching. It is also important to understand that the principal officers are also members of the Senate Committee.

“The intention then was for them to take care of the minority interest, you know they are limited because while they are having six and seven with the Senate president we are having four, so if there is any vote you know where it will go.

“But that is not the issue, the issue is the presiding officer, listening to what he said to carry people along with honesty and transparency.

If you don’t carry me along now that means you don’t need me and if tomorrow you need me you will be reminded when did you change your mind?”

While fielding questions on the minority position, he stressed that it “usually is not subjected to an election, and I am not here to speak for the minority because there is a minority caucus leader, Senator Aliero.

“When you come to speak about the minority they have two positions which will be slashed between the minority rank and consequently when these positions are spliced then each party will now go and do the needful in providing these names.

“I am free. If I am called upon to do it I will gladly accept that, If not the senate chair is enough for me.

Whatever rate I don’t need to hold any position. I will function in this Senate one way or the other,” he emphasized.

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