Saraki congratulates Dogara, seeks collaboration with Reps



Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has congratulated Yakubu Dogara on his election as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

In a statement issued by his media office, Saraki described Dogara as a consummate politician and effective leader capable of galvanising the lower chamber into greater efficiency.

According to Saraki, he had found in the new Speaker, a worthy partner with whom to drive the legislative agenda of the 8th National Assembly.

According to him: “Dogara’s victory bears eloquent testimony to his wide acceptability by majority of the members of the newly inaugurated House.”

Saraki, therefore, urged all members of the House to put the division brought about by the elections behind them and rally round the new leadership in the overall interest of the nation.

He added: “The election is over, it is time to unite, pull together and move the National Assembly forward in the right direction.

“There should be no ill will towards one another. We must all move together irrespective of party affiliations. This is the time to join hands to move the House, which is already reputed for its vibrancy

“The country is waiting on us to take it to the next level through people oriented legislation.

“Above all, let national interest be uppermost in your new leadership role, especially with regards to making laws that would bring dividend of democracy to Nigerians.”

Saraki reminded his colleagues that they were called to service at a crucial moment in the nation’s history and it behooved on them to proffer solutions to the numerous challenges confronting the nation.

He said: “We have been called to leadership at a critical time in our nation’s history. We are besieged by insurgency, unemployment, dwindling economic fortunes and a massive infrastructural deficit.

“These challenges are urgent and require that we find ways to forge a collective national agenda and a minimum deliverable legislative intervention that must be fast tracked to help underpin the policy direction of the executive.

“While wishing you a peaceful and successful tenure in office, may I use this medium to seek your collaboration as we aim to forge a closer engagement to achieve seamless legislative progress between both chambers.

“I believe that our ability to work as partners in progress would greatly help in speeding up critical Bills – executive and private that are aimed at accelerating national development and urgently meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the populace for which we are privileged to represent at this time.”

Meanwhile, a group, Kwara Concerned Citizens, has stoutly defended the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, over the statement he issued on behalf of his party shortly after the emergence of Saraki and Dogara as Senate president and speaker, House of Representatives respectively.

The group in a statement signed by Shaaba Lafiaji and Hezekiah Oyedepo also condemn a statement credited to a group in Kwara threatening to deal with Mohammed for “for carrying out his duties diligently, as he has always done, by articulating the position of his party”.

It said that the position of the anti- Mohammed group did not reflect that of the majority of the Kwara people who were proud of Mohammed for being a good ambassador of the state.

“We are astonished that for carrying out his duties diligently, as he has always done, by articulating the position of his party, Lai Mohammed has become a target of attacks and threats from some perfidious persons in his home state.

“In order to put the issue in the proper perspective, we members of the Kwara Concerned Citizens have therefore decided to set the record straight by saying the opinion of that self-serving group does not reflect that of the majority of the good people of Kwara, while also acknowledging the courage, loyalty, decency and professionalism of Lai Mohammed in carrying out his duties as the voice of the APC.

“In the first instance, the opinions expressed by Lai Mohammed in his statements are not his own, but that of his party. Secondly, since he articulates the position of his party at many levels – including intra- and inter-party, national as well as international – he is expected, at all times, to put the interest of the party above his own personal interest.

“We make bold to say that, to our pride as his kinsmen and indeed to wide acclamation across the land, he has performed his duties creditably.”

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