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Ekweremadu hails 8th Senate for reforms in pre-election matters, others



Ekweremadu hails 8th Senate for reforms in pre-election matters, others

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has commended the eight Senate for the reforms it brought to the controversial pre-election matters.

Ekweremadu gave the commendation, on Thursday, at a valedictory session of the eight Senate in the National Assembly, Abuja.

”We had records of situations that affected the politics of our land. I recall Mr President that before this eight parliament, pre-election matters lingered for endless years.

”We are able to bring that to an end by providing timeframe to conclude pre-election matters as we did in the previous Senates in respect of election matters.

”Today, it is settled; pre-election matters must be concluded within 180 days and things arising therefrom must also be concluded within a record time, and that is why cases like the case in Zamfara was settled.

”All glory to this National Assembly,” he said.

The lawmaker, who opened the floor for valedictory speech, also said the outgoing assembly had also done well in ensuring the independence of the state assemblies.

He said the eight Senate also passed the Petroleum Industry Governance (PIG) Bill, even though it was not assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is this parliament, who on its own, prepared the law that would bring reform to the oil and gas sector, which is called PIG Bill.

“We passed it; of course, the bill was not signed into law but at least, it will be on the record that we are interested in our economy, in the reform of our oil and gas sector,” he said.

Ekweremadu, who thanked God for the privilege to be part of the eight Senate, said ”the Lord is worthy to be praised for making the session possible.

“Some of our colleagues died, not because of their sin, but we are here alive not because of our own righteousness; it the grace of the Almighty God.

“Some people came and they left us as a result of tribunals and various court verdicts.

“Again, not because they committed any particular offence but it was the grace of God that some of us are lucky to last till this day,” he said.

The lawmaker, who recalled that the years had been traumatic for those members elected as presiding officers, said: ”in spite of all the trauma, today, we are bowing out.”

According to him, our experience here suggests that power comes from God.

”And it is only God who gives power to whoever that He wishes.

”This must be a lesson despite all the trauma, all the machinations of the evil people; today, we are ending the eight Senate,” he said.

He thanked his colleagues for standing by the leadership irrespective of party divide.

”Our loyalty goes to the people of Nigeria and I would like to thank our colleagues for taking that position.

”As a matter of fact, there were times when there were plans to overthrow this Senate by force but there are some people here in spite of their political divide, they stood their ground.

”I want to thank you for the show of courage, for standing by the truth and making sure that we witness this day,” he said.

Ekweremadu, who commended the National Assembly staff members, also lauded the judiciary for its support.

”On that fateful day when this particular Senate was invaded by hoodlums who came and took our mace, the ordinary staff of this assembly fought and some of them were injured and hospitalised for some days.

”They are heroes of this assembly. I want to thank God for their courage.

”Let me also thank the judiciary for several attempts were made to use the judiciary to disrupt our activities here and to disrupt the independence of the parliament.

“But they stood their ground, hence, some of us would have been in prison or detention today.

”They maintained the rule of law and gave us the opportunity to be heard,” he said.

He urged the executive, judiciary and legislature to learn from the experience of the eight assembly and know that ”power comes from God.”

He also urged the incoming lawmakers to learn from the mistakes of the outgoing parliament and to focus more on how to deal with those challenges facing the country.

According him, without peace, we will not be able to make any progress and unity is what can grant our peace.

He, however, commended the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, for his leadership quality.

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