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Senate winds down, Zwingina blasts Obasanjo

Posted by From ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2007/06/02 | Views: 553 |

Senate winds down, Zwingina blasts Obasanjo


The Senate, whose tenure constitutionally ends on Sunday, June 3, on Wednesday began its valedictory session with senators praising themselves for work well done. However, Deputy Leader, Jonathan Zwingina, lampooned former president Olusegun Obasanjo for deliberately creating conflicts among the lawmakers.

The Senate, whose tenure constitutionally ends on Sunday, June 3, on Wednesday began its valedictory session with senators praising themselves for work well done. However, Deputy Leader, Jonathan Zwingina, lampooned former president Olusegun Obasanjo for deliberately creating conflicts among the lawmakers.

At the valedictory session, which saw senators taking turns to examine their performances, the lawmarkers submitted that although some successes were recorded, they could have recorded much more if not for executive interference.

Senate Leader Dalhatu Tafida, who kicked off the session, said: "We have had a good fight to consolidate democracy. Senate passed 137 bills with 83 executive bills and 49 private member bills. I urge incoming senators to carry on with the legacy laid down by this Senate. We will no longer meet together in this chamber as senators."

Zwingina, on his part, submitted that "the first difficulty we encountered from 1999 was perception of the Senate as an extension of the executive and, therefore, an instrument to be shaped in the image and contemplation of the executive branch of the government. These perceptions led to the desire of the top leaders of the government and party to impose leaders of the Senate.

"If there had been consensus among the two top leaders of the party, the problem would not have been visible. Thus, as soon as disagreement arose in the choice of Senate president from the executive branch of the government, that division permeated the first session of the Senate and sharply divided senators between the Enwerem group and the Okadigbo group.

"This was followed by several intrigues and machinations of subterfuge for survival. Senators spent much time in undoing one another. It is gratifying that this era was terminated in our senatorial life and must not be repeated."

On his part, the Senate Committee Cchairman on Environment and Ecology, Senator Victor Isa Kassim Oyofo, who looked at the Senate’s performance from a spiritual perspective, was of the view that corruption and looting of public funds by public officials affected Nigeria ’s political process.
"Today, May 30, creation experiences the outpouring of power of the Holy Spirit. Today, May 30, creation experiences Pentecost during which God grants creation the power for continuity. With this power, all that is striving for truth and longing for the Light is renewed. All opposing forces also receive strength for their destruction.

"Democracy is evolving and the unsavoury aspects reflect what has become typical of our people, namely; they know the right but they choose to do the opposite. The greed and unbridled looting of public funds by those in executive positions, from local government chairmen to governors and ministers, permanent secretaries and the Presidency, without any real punishment meted out to offenders poisoned the political process."

Contributing, Senate Chief Whip, Udoma Udo Udoma, said "as I look back to my eight years in the Senate, I am particularly happy with the opportunity I had to play a role in the introduction, adoption and passage of the bill to abrogate the dichotomy between on-shore and off-shore oil in the allocation of revenue from the Federation Account. Without this bill, my state, Akwa Ibom, would have been receiving virtually nothing in respect of the mineral resources mined from her shores.

"With the passage of the bill, my state has taken its rightful place as one of the three, or four, largest producers of petroleum in the country with significant and dramatic increase in the revenue accruing to the state from the Federation Account. I am also happy that I had the opportunity to chair the committee that processed the bill to increase substantially, the remuneration of judges. This, I am sure, has contributed to giving our judges the security to be independent."

As at the last count, about 12 senators made their valedictory remarks. The session continues Thursday.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.