Two former State governors, Sam Egwu of Ebonyi State and Gabriel Suswan of Benue State, who are now serving as Senators in the National Assembly, have declared that they were prompted to aspire to the nation’s highest law making Chamber by the desire to serve their people and the country better, and not driven by greed. The ex-governors, who spoke to Saturday Telegraph, were reacting to a statement credited to the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, where he was quoted as saying that his former colleagues, who aspired to the Senate after serving as governors for eight years were greedy.
They maintained that instead of being seen as people driven by greed to seek elections to the Senate, Nigerians should rather see them from the standpoint of those,who have acquired requisite knowledge and experience to take informed decisions on critical national issues. Egwu said: “Well, that is his own personal opinion. For me, I don’t think it is true. We are talking about service.
“As a governor, you were able to serve your people at the state level. As a Senator, you are no longer in the Executive, you want to be a Parliamentarian, where you get involved deeply in the issues of law-making; be a representative of your people at the Chamber, oversight parastatals under the various Standing Committees of the Senate. “It should be looked at from that angle; we are talking about service. They can serve at any level. “As a governor, you are in charge of the whole state. You can also serve in the act of law-making by the way we are structured. “There is nobody that can serve as a lawmaker for the entire state.
“You can serve as a Senator, in which case you have a senatorial district. You can serve as a House member, in which case you have a smaller political jurisdiction to represent. “If your purpose is to serve, there is nothing wrong with that. After all somebody can serve as a state governor and still go and become a Councilor.” Senator Egwu asserted that former governors in the Senate, due to their wealth of experience, were usually unique in their contributions to debates on serious national concerns, saying that their handling of sensitive matters ensured that the country continued to remain in peace and unity. In his reaction, Suswam argued that seeking Senatorial office after serving as a State governor was neither a mark of political retrogression nor greed on the part of the affected individuals. “No, I don’t think so because a state is a sub-region of the country. This is the Federal Government, so we are here doing federal jobs. “And so, there are national issues that need to be addressed. Most of these issues cannot be addressed at the state level. “In the Senate here, national issues are brought to the floor. “So, I don’t agree with His Excellency, the former governor of Sokoto State, that it is greed that drives former governors to come to the Senate; neither do I see it as a mark of political retrogression on their part.”