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Mixed Reactions As 8th National Assembly Winds Down

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Mixed reactions have trailed the eight National Assembly as it holds its valedictory session today.

While some people launched scurrilous attack on the federal lawmakers and scored their performance in the last four years below expectation, others gave them kudos for effectively discharging their roles, The Sun Newspaper.

The eight Senate and the House of Representatives will, today, hold a valedictory session.

Acting clerk of the House of Representatives, Patrick Giwa, in a notice to the lawmakers, Wednesday, said all lawmakers in the Green Chamber and invited guests should be seated at 10:30am, ahead of the special session billed for 11am.

President Muhammadu Buhari issued a proclamation to inaugurate the ninth session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 11.

In his assessment, outspoken politician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, described the outgoing National Assembly as the worst in recent times.

He claimed that there was nothing positive to remember the two chambers for even as he branded them corrupt.

The erstwhile member of the House of Representatives contended that both the Senate and House of Representatives focused more attention on frivolities, leaving the country to grapple with several daunting challenges.

“Frankly speaking, I have low opinion of the current National Assembly. In assessing the National Assembly, you do that vis-vis the challenges that confronted them at the time they took charge. I cannot point out one contribution, which I can, in good conscience, say they made .

“Instead, they have made life more complicated not only for the government but also for the entire country. I cannot now tell you what contribution they made to the main problems confronting this country. I can’t remember how they helped the country fight terrorism and Boko Haram. I can’t remember what contribution they made in addressing abduction, banditry, farmer/herder crisis, especially in the North.

“If the job of the National Assembly is to provide not only the wisdom but the necessary cash and other advice that will help those who are governing to govern well and encourage harmony among the people of this country and also make sure that areas such as health, education, strategic infrastructure are well maintained for general economic development, I don’t know how I can say they have contributed to solving the country’s challenges. They are the worst in recent times. I think so. They are the worst, You can quote me.”

But National Chairman, African Democratic Congress (ADC), Chief Okey Nwosu, disagreed, as he said but for the National Assembly, which   gave the country some form of direction in the last four years, there would have been serious crisis.

“It  took the National Assembly to give this country some form of direction in the past four years, because the executive was not forthcoming. And if we didn’t have some capable hands to navigate that arm of government, we could have had a major crisis in our hands.”

Former Minister of Education during Sani Abacha’s regime, Dauda Birmah, also has harsh words for the outgoing Senate, as he scored the lawmakers low in terms of performance and working relationship with the Executive arm.

The Adamawa-born politician said the disregard for President Buhari by the Bukola Saraki-led Senate, was responsible for major setbacks experienced in the first administration of the president.

Birmah, who said no legislature can exist without the backing and support of the Executive, described the outgoing Senate as a rebellious one and warned the ninth Assembly to learn from its mistakes.

“This outgoing Senate emerged in a clandestine manner. They emerged against the wishes of President Muhammadu Buhari. And that was a problem from the beginning.

“Nobody is against the independence of the legislature. It is their right. But the leadership of the National Assembly can’t emerge without the inputs of the president. It is not done.

“As soon as the Senate came, they turned themselves into a strong opposition and frustrated the administration. Most of the failures or setbacks experienced by the president were as a result of the lack of support for him by the Senate.

“So, I don’t think this outgoing Senate contributed anything. Instead, it was a clog in the wheel of progress of this country. And I hope the incoming National Assembly will learn.”

But former minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, lauded the members of members of  eighth National Assembly for their contributions to national development in the last four years.

Ogunlewe said the lawmakers did their best in the service of their fatherland, and hoped that the next Assembly would commence from where they stopped.

“Honestly they have done their best. They passed about 41 bills which were not assented to by Mr President for whatever reason. But that is the nature of our country. You do your best; you move on . What I will plead with them is to document everything that have done and the ninth Assembly will continue from where they stopped. They have done their best for their country. They should move on.”

Similarly, former minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia told Daily Sun that the greatest challenge that confronted the outgoing National Assembly was the lack of  synergy between it and the executive.

Onyia noted that in spite of the challenges, the parliament, especially the House, did their bes.

“There have not been any synergy between the National Assembly and the executive arm of government. The doctrine of separation of power has not been respected by the executive arm of government. I think they did their best.”

 

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