8th National Assembly Under The Leadershhip Of Senator Bukola Saraki; The Journey So Far
Since Nigeria got her independence in 1960, we have witnessed eras and reigns of different political titans and military dictators who have helped forge the Nigeria that we see today. The Nigeria that we see today, has been the effort of the many successes and failiures of our leaders – dead or alive.
We have witnessed military coups before the stability of our democracy in 1999, when Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar handed over to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. This handover laid the foundation of a new democratic system of government which is why we have been able to sustain our democracy till date.
The 1999 democratic foundation has given birth to many historical tales as we have witnessed several political games of chess - where ascending or descending of any political stalwart is dependent on how far one can think, while the other players on the board are making their next moves.
We have also witnessed the sane and insane maneuvers in our national game of thrones, but most importantly, we have seen our own common sense revolution in the just concluded general elections and, the June 9 National Assembly and House of Representative elections that produced President Muhammadu Buhari as the President of Nigeria, Sen. Abubakar Bukola Saraki as Senate President, and the Rt. Honourable, Yakubu Dogara as the Speaker.
These elections were undeniably triumphs favored by the common sense revolution of the Nigerian people, who had been pegged against an era of political impunity and cabalism that worked to decay our national progression.
All Nigerians today, can be proud that we are living witnesses of a new era that will ultimately be characterized by a shared commonwealth, as opposed to the carelessness exhibited in past – especially by the past members of Nigerian legislative arm, who spent carelessly at the expense of destitute Nigerians. Surprisingly, what we are witnessing in the 8th Assembly today is the confirmation of this commonsensical way of solving problems.
Barely three months into the emergence of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki as the President of the Senate and Chairman of the 8th Assembly, we have begun to see radical changes and depatures from business-as-usual, despite all the traumatic pre-election and post-election collisions that he had with some lawmakers in his party.
Dr. Saraki who is widely known as a detribalized leader, and a dogged advocate of justice and equity, and a living epitome of service to humanity, has worked assiduously to ensure that the principle of federal character which allows for an even representation of each Geo-political zone at the central is kept in place.
Needless to say, Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari, has experienced a positive jolt in the issues of governance. Additionally, it is clear that the current Senate under Dr. Saraki, in the few days that he has in office as the Senate President cannot be written off when compared to the Senate Presidents we have had in the past.
This is because Dr. Saraki is giving meaning to leadership of the Senate, and showing us what leadership entails by not just sitting down in office to legislate but taking the time to be part of issues to be legislated upon. To many Nigerians, including myself, Dr. Saraki has seen days like today coming, and as such, has been duly prepared for it.
In the past, Dr. Saraki has worked to be a responsive and responsible Senator, who has never gone incommunicado from his constituents and the Nigerian people. He has created an accessible means of communication on social media long, and the effectiveness of his twitter handle and timely updates after every plenary has made him the first Nigerian Senator to be verified by twitter. Apart from all these, many people oriented bills and initiatives like the #SaveBagega campaign and the #CleanCookStoves initiatives have been sponsored and co-cosponsored.
Despite the in-house political Drama that marred the election of the 8th Assembly, Dr. Saraki has shown the capacity of being a true leader by leaving the past behind to embrace peace and focus on the legislative matters for the benefit of Nigerians.
This has reflected in his leadership style in all the committees recently constituted to satisfy all factions in the interest of Nigerians. Notably, Sen. Babajide Omoworare, who represents Osun East Senatorial district, who was a strong supporter of Sen. Lawan has been appointed as the Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business. This appointment has fostered unity and restored the yearning peace in the Senate.
Unfortunately, I was disappointed like every other Nigerian that, Sen. Lawan turned down his nomination as part of the delegation set up by the Senate President to visit the troubled Northeast to show solidarity to the internally displaced people in their various camps .
For example, in the heat of the insurgency in Nigeria, we have hardly found leaders that have summed up the courage to visit the affected areas, not to talk of donating cash or kind to victims.
However, to our surprise, the Senate President of the 8th Assembly led delegates to the North East a few days ago to make the people of Boko-Haram ravaged parts feel they are not alone in the fate that has befallen them.
Conclusively, the patriotism and competency which has favored the rise success of Senator Saraki, has manifested in his track record so far. He is a perfect compliment in the legislature to President Buhari’s ‘Change’-centered agenda. These men, are leading by example, and setting examples by leading. This is despite the fact that the naysayers have been loud and boisterous, yet, they (Buhari and Saraki) still demonstrate their positive change through their actions.