The Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District of Niger State, Senator David Umaru, on Wednesday, said that the passing of vote of confidence on Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, by the Senate last week, showed that they were not a rubber stamp to any person.
“We have exerted our role as an independent arm of government,” he said.
Umaru disclosed this in Minna in a chat with journalists on the imperatives of the vote of confidence motion which he moved last week and was unanimously adopted by his colleagues at the resumption of the Senate after weeks in recess.
He explained that “the concluded elections of the National Assembly leaders was purely based on the wisdom and sentiments of the lawmakers to elect who they want. It is surprising that those people who wanted to dictate how we elect our leaders are still pulling the strings because they do not want to see some faces as leaders, which was why we passed vote of confidence in them.”
He disclosed that the senators were empowered to elect their leaders from their tribe by Section 50 of the 1999 Constitution and Orders II and VI of the Standing Orders of the Senate, adding that, “the law did not say that senators should elect leaders for a President or a party. Besides, this President had maintained a principled stand of non-interference and prepared to work with anyone, who would emerged as leader in the National Assembly.”
According to him, “It will be better for us to quickly come to terms with the realities on ground at the National Assembly and direct our attention and energy on how to work with this President to provide much desired dividends of democracy to our people.”
Umaru said that it was necessary for the people to understand that the senators had taken an oath of office to uphold the constitution and the well-being of all Nigerians without fear or favour, and that no oath was taken to protect the interest of individuals.
“I think that those speaking against the passing of vote of confidence on Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the Senate leadership may be doing so in ignorance. They do not know that the three arms of government act as checks and balance on each other, while ensuring separation of powers. It is unfortunate that some people always choose to misconstrue our activities at the Senate.”
Umaru said that the National Assembly was ready to exert its autonomy as an independent organ of government, adding that, “we are ready to make laws for good governance and development of the country. Let me make it clear that we are not going to be stooges to any person or group of persons.”
He stated the determination of the Senate to guard against external influence in the conduct of its statutory responsibility, while explaining that the peace, unity and stability of the country was paramount to the law makers.