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General News of Tuesday, 9 May 2023


Many Nigerians see Ninth NASS as rubber stamp - Ahmad Lawan

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Senate President Ahmad Lawan Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Senate President Ahmad Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the Ninth National Assembly’s commitment to have a robust relationship with the executive has led many Nigerians to conclude that it is a rubber stamp.

Lawan stated this while declaring the induction of the first batch of the new representatives on Tuesday in Abuja.

He explained that the Ninth Senate was mindful of the damaging effect of persistent conflict with the executive and its impact on legislative activities.

“However, we were equally aware that a good working relationship is desirable and indeed imperative to achieve effective and efficient service delivery to the people,” the senator noted.

Lawan added, “Hence, under my leadership, the Ninth National Assembly adopted a friendly but professional approach to executive-legislative relations. This was focused on a harmonious working relationship based on mutual respect, consultation, cooperation, collaboration and partnership.”

The Senate president stressed that “this approach to engaging with the executive has led to a misperception and misunderstanding, which has led many to tag the Ninth National Assembly as a ‘rubber stamp’ assembly.”

Yet, Lawan insisted that “our intention in preferring an engagement with the executive based on harmony and collaboration has been to better serve Nigeria by providing a safe atmosphere for national development.”

According to him, the Ninth Senate had performed exceedingly well regarding the number and quality of bills introduced, passed and assented to.

Meanwhile, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged lawmakers-elect of the 10th National Assembly to engage in discourse that must be unimpeachable.

While congratulating the members on their electoral victory, Mr Gbajabiamila called on them to justify the offices held by the quality of endeavours in that office.

“For those of us in the legislature, this means that the quality of our law-making and advocacy, the excellence of our constituency services, the thoroughness of our oversight activities and the substance of our discourse in the chamber must be unimpeachable,” stated the speaker.

Gbajabiamila added, “I welcome you at this singular moment in our nation’s history when the talents, perspectives and dedication of all political leaders are required to steer us through present challenges towards the success we desire and hopefully deserve.”

He further said the 2023 elections were the most hard-fought and competitive ever since the return to democratic rule in 1999, and “in this election, assumptions about electoral performance based on historical antecedents proved nought.”

The speaker noted that “rooted political parties and interests were dislodged in places where such had proved impossible for two decades,” citing that “persons who had never aspired to political office or whose previous aspirations had failed succeeded this time.”

Gbajabiamila also mentioned that “our national politics have been rewritten. We are in a new age of Nigerian democracy,” and Nigerians “have awakened to the enormous power of their votes.”