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Senate: Scorecard of ex-governors

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Senate: Scorecard of ex-governors

Performance of former  governors in 8th Senate

 

There is no doubt that the Senate has become a nest for former governors as the upper legislative chamber presently have 15 of them as members. CHUKWU DAVID examines how they have fared so far

 

 

Sixteen ex-governors were elected into the 8th Senate during the 2015 National Assembly elections, but 15 of them are currently serving, after the demise of former Osun State governor, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, early last year. The former governors who are serving in the present Senate are Bukola Saraki (Kwara),

 

Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Adamu Aliero (Kebbi), Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto) and Kabiru Gaya (Kano). Others are Abba Bukar Ibrahim (Yobe), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), Ahmed Sani (Zamfara), Theodore Orji (Abia), George Akume (Benue), Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara) and Joshua Dariye (Plateau), who is presently serving a jail term.

 

Bukola Saraki

The former governor of Kwara State is the President of the Senate and he represents Kwara Central on the platform of the PDP. He was elected into the Senate on the platform of the APC in 2015, but defected to the PDP at the end of July, 2018. He actually served eight years in Kwara State as governor on the platform of the PDP and got first elected to the Senate in 2011 under the PDP.

 

 

By virtue of his position, Saraki is obviously the most visible and productive member of the Senate, as he presides over the Chamber’s plenary almost on daily basis, influencing most resolutions on national issues. Saraki has also been able to manage the most turbulent Assembly since the country’s return to democracy in 1999 though his battle to remain on seat is still on. He has survived many impea  ment plots in recent time.

 

Godswill Akpabio

 

Until early August this year, when he defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State was a chieftain of the PDP, representing Akwa Ibom North-West. He was also the minority leader of the Senate before he resigned to join the APC.

 

Though a first term senator, Akpabio is one of those who make legislative actives lively and interesting. He adds glamour and humour whenever he is addressing the chamber on any issue. He is very articulate, vocal and persuasive whenever he is canvassing a position on any matter under the chamber’s consideration. He also exhibits high sense of sarcasm, when tackling the ruling party on issues of governance and always tasked those in the executive arm to be guided by the rule of law and principles of equity, fairness and egalitarianism.

 

These according to him are potent means of achieving peace, stability and development in Nigeria. Putting the matter more concisely, one can say that the former governor of Akwa Ibom State is very productive as well as a great asset to the Red Chamber, in terms of contributing useful ideas on how to handle issues of critical national interest.

 

Sam Egwu

 

Another first time senator, Egwu was the first executive governor of Ebonyi State. He was at helm of affairs between 1999 and 2007 on the platform of the PDP.

 

He represents Ebonyi North Senatorial District. Egwu, as a seasoned politician who has been in government since the return of the country to civil governance in 1999, is not only productive in terms of sponsoring bills and motions in the chamber, but is nationalistic in his approach to issues.

 

He always maintains balance in his contributions to debates. It was one of his early motions on outrageous electricity billings in 2015 that compelled the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to reduce electricity tariff. The former Education minister always makes his   presence whenever he is present in the chamber by contributing to debates.

 

Jonah Jang

 

A former governor of Plateau State, Jang represents Plateau North Senatorial District on the platform of the PDP. He is also a first timer in the Senate.

 

The lawmaker appears to be learning the terrain of parliamentary activities as he is hardly heard in the chamber contributing on issues. He prefers to be quiet and observe others contributing to debates on issues. However, the time he became a bit active in speaking out in the Senate was when herdsman started unleashing mayhem on the people of Plateau, particularly the Christian communities within his senatorial district. He sponsored a motion on the killings in the Senate.

 

Adamu Aliero

 

Another former governor, who represents Kebbi Central under the APC, Aliero is a cognate member of the Senate. He is moderately  productive as he is neither too hot nor cold in the chamber. He has sponsored some bills and motions, and is well known for his partisan stance on issues involving the North and South. He is vehemently opposed to devolution of power and worked to ensure that it was not passed in the last constitution alteration carried out by the National Assembly.

 

Aliyu Wamakko

 

Wamakko represents Sokoto North Senatorial District on the platform of the APC. The lawmaker contributes to debates on the floor of the Senate once in a while.

 

Joshua Dariye

 

The former governor of Plateau State represents Plateau Central. He came to the Senate on the platform of the PDP, but defected to the APC in 2016, a move some of his constituents said was aimed at escaping prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). His defection notwithstanding, he was still sentenced to 14 year imprisonment earlier this year for corruption while in office as governor. Before going to jail, Dariye, who is still the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, made moderate contributions to debates in the upper legislative chamber.

 

Theodore Orji

The former governor of Abia State, who is a first timer in the Senate, represents Abia Central Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He is one of the few senators with inert comic trait,  as he likes to introduce himself as “Ochendo Global or Ochendo Worldwide,” whenever he is making a contribution on any issue on the floor of the Senate.

Although he does not feature everyday to contribute in debates on issues during plenary, he is a serious minded lawmaker, who exhibits high level maturity and comportment in the way he views issues and expresses his position in seeming nationalistic manner.

Apart from being vocal, he is also very productive in terms of sponsorship of bills and motions on the floor, and always supports views that engender unity and harmony in the country, just as he does not sit on the fence when contentious issues are being considered in the apex chamber.

 

Rabiu Kwankwaso

Kwankwaso, who represents Kano Central, does not speak all the time in the Senate, but when he does, he makes reasonable contributions to debates.

 

Kabiru Gaya

He represents Kano South and is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works. Gaya is a cognate member of the Senate. Although he is not very vocal, he participates in debates from time to time and sponsors motions when necessary.

 

Abba Bukar Ibrahim

The former Yobe State governor represents Yobe East on the  platform of the APC. He is one of the dormant senators in the 8th Senate as far as sponsorship of bills and motions is concerned. In fact, it is not known that he has sponsored a single bill from 2015 to date. About three months ago, when he was challenged by journalists on why he had not sponsored any bill, he said that he came to represent his people, arguing that representation is not about sponsoring bills or motions, but practically providing the basic needs of the electorate, which he said he was doing very well. He also boasted that whether he sponsored bills and motions or not, his people will continue to re-elect him as long as he desires to come to the Senate.

 

Danjuma Goje

He represents Gombe Central and is also a cognate member of the Senate. He is a member of the APC and Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations. Goje is not very vocal, but influential in the politics and leadership of the present Senate. He is not one of those whose absence are easily noticed whenever they are absent from the Chamber.

He, however, contributes to issues whenever he feels it is necessary for him to do so. Though a member of the ruling party, he is an ardent supporter of the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki. The lawmaker is usually very  productive during annual budget consideration as the Appropriations Committee coordinates and harmonizes the works of other sub-committees of the Senate to produce and present the budget for approval.

 

Abdullahi Adamu

Another cognate member of the Senate, Adamu represents Nasarawa West on the platform of the APC. He is vibrant and vocal, even though he doesn’t speak every time during plenary. He has some bills and motions to his credit and contributes meaningfully to debates in the chamber.

 

Ahmed Sani

The former Zamfara State governor represents Zamfara West Senatorial District. Though a cognate member of the Red Chamber, he is not very visible as he sparingly contributes to debates. Also, he does not feature frequently in sponsorship of bills and motions.

 

George Akume

He represents Benue North West on the platform of the APC. He doesn’t speak often, but when he does, he presents his views with so much articulation and audacity. Akume is not among senators who come with bills and motions very frequently on the floor of the apex legislative chamber.

 

Shaaba Lafiagi

Another former represents Kwara North and also a cognate member of the Senate. The 78-year old lawmaker is very gentle in the chamber as he is not always in a haste to make contributions, neither is he known to be a regular sponsor of bills or motions. He only speaks when he deems necessary.

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