Saraki lauds Buhari’s neutrality, Dogara pledges selfless service
NEWLY elected President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki yesterday commended President Mohammadu Buhari for standing by his word not to interfere in the selection of the leadership of the National Assembly.
In the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara in his maiden speech pledged to work with all members to deliver good legislation and good government to Nigerians. Senator Saraki in his inaugural speech said Mr. President’s action has laid a solid foundation for the stability of the 8th National Assembly.
“It will be my responsibility to protect the independence of the legislature in the overall interest of our democracy. Also, our quest for autonomy must not lead us into pursuing adverse relations with other arms of government.
I salute President Buhari for remaining steadfast in his defense of the right of the National Assembly to choose its own leaders which had laid a solid foundation for the stability of the 8th National Assembly,” Saraki said.
Saraki added that the event of yesterday was a clear demonstration that even though they belong to different parties, they are united by a common desire to entrench democracy.
He said: “We have today demonstrated that even though we may belong to different parties, we are ultimately united by our common desire to entrench democracy and allow its principle guide our conducts”.
According to him, the election of the Senate President and the deputy was a vote for a change and it was their responsibility to justify the change through a proactive Assembly.
“The change that our people voted for is a change from a life of poverty and misery to a life of prosperity, happiness, security and comfort, accountability and respect for democracy.
“This is a change that all of us in the National Assembly must strive to justify as Nigerians want to see a proactive National Assembly. “As the President of the 8th Senate, I shall be guided by the enormity of the responsibilities that this moment imposes on all of us. I shall strive to be just, equitable and fair to all”.
Speaker Dogara expressed appreciation over the confidence reposed on him and applauded his opponent Femi Gbajabiamila for the positive role he played over the years in the House, adding that his election attest to the fact that members of the House were resolute in asserting the independence of the legislature as a co-equal arm of government, he also pledged to keep faith with the duties of Law making, Representation and Oversight of the Executive arm of government.
Said he: “My dear colleagues, by electing me as Speaker you have demonstrated to the world that our legislature is living up to the dreams and aspirations of our founding fathers.
You are leaving a legacy of an accountable, autonomous, focused, progressive and united House capable of playing its role as the stabilizing force in our polity.
We have shown once again that this is a House of the Nigerian people. According to Dogara, “After 16 years of unbroken experiment in constitutional democracy, it is right to say that the Nigerian legislature has come of age.
The House continues to remain the repository of the democratic hopes and ambitious of our people. This is a truly representative Chamber that can be relied upon to rise to the occasion when duty calls.
“It should be noted that we are heirs, to a long tradition of a House where debates are robustly undertaken, where radicalism flows as an institutional prerogative.
We continue to be the bulwark for the defence of the rights and privileges of the “common man.” We shall continue to champion the rights of the weak and poor. We shall continue to be the anchor for the wellbeing of our people. “My honourable colleagues, after the euphoria of today comes the difficulties of tomorrow.
We take office at a period in our history when the morale of our people is at its lowest ebb. We take office when our economy is in shambles, when the living conditions of Nigerians are in poor shape, when infrastructures are nonexistent or at best decayed. Our people are no longer safe in their homes .We face a debt crises once again,” the new Reps Speaker said.
“We are in a period of great social and political malaise, provision of basic necessities of life for our people are becoming increasingly difficult. Long fuel lines, high cost of living, and epileptic electricity supply or in most instances complete darkness has become the order of the day. The Health needs of the majority of our people are not being met.
Extreme poverty still envelops a large percentage of our population. For too long, Nigerians have suffered degradation and neglect. The list is endless. “It will be unfair to say that efforts have not been made by our past leaders to solve all these problems.
Quite to the contrary, a lot of progress has been made in many fields. But it appears as if we have not done enough, as the problems still remain.
“We are poised to use our new office to wage a mortal combat with the cancer of corruption, incompetence, insecurity, bad governance and infrastructural decay. We shall wage an unrelenting legislative war on insecurity, unemployment, poverty, lack of power supply, educational inadequacies, health problems and social decay. “We have run out of excuses.
We may be accused of falling short at the end of the day, but we will not be accused of not doing our best to reposition this nation, Nigeria, as a beacon of hope for Africa. We hope that our best will be good enough.