Senate leadership, individual senator-elect’s plans and others dominated discourse yesterday as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issued lawmakers-elect certificates of return, report Onyedi Ojiabor and Abdulgafar Alabelewe.
I’ll perform far better than
araki, says Oloriegbe
Senator-elect for Kwara Central Dr Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe yesterday declared that he would perform better than Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Saraki, the Senator representing Kwara Central, has represented the Senatorial District since 2011.
He spoke in Abuja alongside two other Senators-elect from Kwara State after collecting his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said Saraki did not set any standard of performance for any successor to study.
Oloriegbe said: “It is God that gives and takes power from whosoever He wishes. I thank the Almighty Allah for granting me the grace of being overwhelmingly elected as Senator for Kwara Central in the coming 9th Senate.
“I have the pedigree of service to people and humanity as a trained medical doctor who has spent decades working with World Health Organization (WHO) and years on the political field also in rendering selfless service to people and humanity.
“I was the majority leader of Kwara State House of Assembly from 1999 to 2003 under the late Governor Muhammed Alabi Lawal.
“My focus in the Senate will squarely be on how to through legislative engineering, quality and responsive representation, improve the lots of my people in Kwara Central and collaborate very effectively along with other federal lawmakers from the state with the State Governor-elect, Abdulrahaman Abdulrazaq in giving the state a new direction with regards to wealth creation and genuine development.
“The responsive representation I will put up for Kwara Central people within the next four years coupled with the required legislative engagements to be made on both the floor and at committee level for good governance in the country , will surpass whatever performance Saraki had rendered in the past.”
The Kwara South Senator-elect, Lola Ashiru, assured that the new set of elected political office holders in Kwara State would collaborate to give the greatest good to the greatest number of Kwarans.
Ashiru said: “We are aware of the expectations on the ground and enormous challenges at hand but as people who are out to serve and not lord it over the electorate, Kwara will surely be better off with the change that had taken place in the state.”
The Senator-elect for Kwara North, Umar Sadiq, said he had the strong conviction that marginalisation that had been the lot of his area in the past would be a thing of the past.
Gaya eyes Ekweremadu’s seat
The Senator representing Kano South, Kabiru Gaye, is interested in becoming Deputy Senate President.
Gaya, a sitting Senator and Chairman Senate Committee on Works, told reporters about his intention to go for the Senate top job yesterday after collecting his certificate of return as Senator-elect for Kano South.
The post is occupied by Senator Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu, PDP).
He told reporters at the International Conference Center, Abuja venue of the issuance of the certificate of return to Senators-elect that his aspiration was driven by mass appeal for him to go for the job by his colleagues.
He has been returned to the upper chamber for the fourth time unbroken.
Gaya said: “I thank the Almighty Allah who granted me the grace of being elected into the Senate for the fourth time.
“As regards the leadership composition of the 9th Senate, majority of my colleagues are mounting pressure on me to run for the position of Deputy Senate President. I want to use this opportunity to announce that I’m running for the position being one of the most ranking Senators in the 9th Senate.”
He however gave a caveat that his ambition for the exalted position will be subject to the determination and approval of the All Progressives Congress and the presidency.
The aspiration of Gaya, who hails from the North West geo-political zone, may alter the permutations being made for the Senate leadership positions.
If Gaya emerges Deputy Senate President, it may be difficult to also retain the Senate Presidency in the North.
Front runners for the position of Senate Presidency of the ninth Senate include Senators Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North), Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC Borno South) and Mohammed Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central) and Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West).
Of the four front liners, Lawan looks good to get the Senate top most position going by his track records and standing in the APC.
The Senate leadership race is, however, very much open as other Senators are said to be warming up to take a shot at the position.
Senator-elect Adedayo Adeyeye (APC Ekiti South) noted that to avoid the leadership crisis that overwhelmed the 8th Senate, the APC national leadership should provide the required direction for the majority party in the Senate to follow.
Another Senator-elect Bamidele Opeyemi (APC Ekiti Central) was sure that the APC leadership would effectively manage the process for effective leadership of the ninth Senate.
He said: “The calibre and character of personalities elected for the 9th Senate are very solid and promising for the country but leadership is key. This very reason why the leadership of the ruling party must manage well, whatever process, it is going to use for the emergence of leadership at both chambers this time around.
“Once this is done, the party and in particular, the National Assembly and the presidency will be on the same page on development-driven bills sponsorship, policy formulations and approvals.”
Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC Niger North) said the necessary lessons had been learnt from the leadership tussle in the 8th Senate.
Abdullahi was optimistic that the loose ends in the leadership selection process of the ninth Senate would be tightened by the APC leadership.
He said: “I was a key player in the leadership configuration of the 8th Senate and the attendant crises that followed. As one of the 43 returnees, the lessons learnt will be used to prevent the mistakes of the past from happening.”
We will not fail Kaduna people,
The Senator-elect for Kaduna Central senatorial District, Uba Sani, has said the elected representatives of Kaduna State are “bound by their love for the people of the state” to succeed in their responsibilities.
He assured that the lawmakers will not fail the people of Kaduna in their legislative assignment.
In a statement after he was issued with certificate of returns by the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja, Uba said with the crop of representatives the state has produced, the people of the state are poised to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
He said: “Today, the great quest to place the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial zone in pole position to reap bountifully from the next level of massive infrastructural, economic, social and agricultural development of the re-elected and re-energized APC government at the federal level and in Kaduna State, commenced effectively with my issuance of certificate of return by INEC.
“I truly appreciate the youths, women, elders and other residents of Kaduna Central Senatorial zone who believe so much in me and showed it most audaciously with their huge votes at the polls. I shall remain eternally grateful. Like I have said repeatedly, I shall not fail you.
“My biggest thanks however goes to my boss, close confidante and governor of our State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. We are bound by our common love for Kaduna State and our love for our long suffering people.
“As a Senator in the 9th Senate of our great nation, I shall do all that is within my competences and powers to ensure that our collective dream and aspiration of a peaceful, investment friendly and economically buoyant Kaduna State is speedily achieved.
“My loyalty to our party and our great leader, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, shall be unalloyed and unflinching. With like-minds and fellow party men, we shall build a bulwark of support for the President and his administration in the Senate, Insha Allah.
“I am truly honoured and I shall not take the huge responsibilities reposed in me by the people for granted. I am very conscious of the fact that I cannot afford to fail. God helping me, I will not fail.”