Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
The newly sworn-in Senate President of the 8th National Assembly, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has promised to strive to be just, equitable and fair to all during his tenure. Saraki, who spoke shortly, after he was elected as the 14th Senate President yesterday, assured that he and his colleagues are ultimately united by the common desire to entrench democracy and allow its principle guide their conducts, despite belonging to different parties.
While pledging to protect the independence of the legislature in the overall interest of our democracy, Saraki urged his colleagues not to let their quest for autonomy lead them into pursuing adverse relations with other arms of government. “I am most honoured and privileged to be elected to serve as President of the Senate.
I accept with humility and respect the honour you have conferred upon me today. I want to thank all members of the National Assembly for your maturity and patriotism in the exercise we had just concluded in electing the leadership of the 8th Senate. “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.
The change that our people voted for is a change from a life of poverty, 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, 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. “It will be my responsibility to protect the independence of the legislature in the overall interest of our democracy, our quest for autonomy must not lead us into pursuing adverse relations with other arms of government,” he urged.
Saraki saluted President Muhammadu Buhari for remaining steadfast in his defense of the rights of the National Assembly to choose its own leaders, which had laid a solid foundation for the stability of the 8th National Assembly. He also thanked former Senate President, Senator David Mark, for the uncommon leadership, which he had provided in the last eight years, which led to the stability of the Senate.
“Let me also thank all the other party leaders, who have strived to resolve all conflict, urging that the senators should now move forward with renewed confidence and support,” he added. While reminding his colleagues of the job ahead, Saraki urged the new Senate to leave a legacy for the future generation to remember.
“My dear distinguished colleagues, we are entering at a time when a lot is being expected of us. Nigerians expect that the new Senate must make laws that will reform the oil sector, the security systems, diversify our economy, create jobs and make doing business in Nigeria more competitive.