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7th Nigeria Senate Ends As Mark explains why PDP won’t contest Senate Presidency

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja – The 7th Senate which started on the 5th of June 2011, came to an end Thursday when it was formally adjourned with sine die after a valedictory session which lasted almost three hours.

Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, who moved a motion for the valedictory session, said 115 motions were considered and passed and a total of 591 bills were introduced between 2011 and 2015, out of which 123 have been passed and others are at various stages of legislative processing and consideration.

Some of the bills according to him, include Occupational Safety and Health Bill, Pension Reform Amendment (Repeal and Re-enactment) Act, Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Bill, Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011 Bill and Proceeds of Crime Bill.

He said the Senate had over the last four years ensured effective executive-legislature relations in the overall interest of the nation, saying “this is most evident in the ratification of the State of Emergency proclaimed by the president in the three northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, as well as the intrinsic support given to the executive in convening the National Conference of 2014.

“Meanwhile, the Senate president, David Mark, yesterday ruled out any possibility of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senators, contesting for the highest office of Senate President in the eight National Assembly.

The Senate President who made this known in his valedictory speech to mark the close of the 7th Senate, stressed that only members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers were in a position to contest same, and not PDP Senators.

Mark stated this in response to a request for support put forward by Senator George Akume who is penciled for the position of Deputy Senate President to one of the contestants, Senator Ahmad Lawan for the leadership of the 8th Senate.

Akume had enjoined Mark in his contribution at the valedictory session, to support the Ahmed Lawan/ George Akume candidacy for the next president and deputy president of the Senate, respectively.

Akume said as brothers from the same state and colleagues who have been together in governance, the people of Benue State will be highly elated to see him support him for his bid.

But while responding, Mark said, “Let me remind you I am of the PDP. The leadership of the 8th Senate is a matter for members of the APC.

“Earlier, the president of the Senate had commended his colleagues for their contributions to the development of Nigeria through their work at the Senate.

He however regretted that some major bills such as that of the 2015 Constitution Amendment and the Petroleum Industry Bills , failed to see the light of day.

He specifically lamented that the important Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is “still in limbo,” adding that events of the last few years revealed security lapses which the legislature tried to address by supporting the executive through passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill and approval of $1 billion for procurement of arms and equipment for the military.

Describing the abduction of Chibok girls a national scar, the Senate President, however, commended the Military for its resolute posture towards confronting the boko haram scourge which has led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerians.vAmong dignitaries who attended the valedictory session were former Senate presidents, Joseph Wayas (2nd Republic) , Ameh Ebute (3rd Republic) and Ken Nnamani (5th Senate)

Others are former deputy Senate president, Ibrahim Mantu, former Senate leader, Teslim Folarin; current and former clerks of the National Assembly and many other former senators led by Senator Khairat Gwadabe, the Chairman of Senators’ forum comprising of serving and former senators.


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