By Media Unit, Office of the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives.
Proceedings of the Valedictory Session of the House of Representatives for Thursday, June 6, 2019. The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara Presiding.
After leading the opening prayer, the Speaker went on to examine and approve the second Plenary Votes and Proceedings for Thursday, May 30, 2019.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila Moved the Motion for the admittance into the Chambers of the House of Representatives; dignitaries and invited guests to witness the Valedictory Sitting of the House. The Motion was Seconded by Hon. Mohammed Monguno, it was Voted on and Approved.
Hon. Chika Adamu: thanked Allah for the opportunity to serve his constituents in the 8th Assembly. Coming from the education and Executive sectors before becoming a Member and feels honored. He stated that even though he did not vote for Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara during the race for the Speakership, but today he must commend Rt. Hon. Dogara for his excellent stewardship and leadership qualities. He called on Public Officers to always live above board and be accountable to the nation. He also commended the friendships he has made in the House. He decried the falling leadership structure especially in Northern Nigeria and called for qualitative leadership and representation.
Hon. Johnson Oghuma: asked Members to ensure that the relationship started here between Members should not die. He called on returning Members to ensure they make the 9th Assembly more productive.
Hon. Lawal Abubakar: thanked God for sparing the lives of Members throughout the tenure of the 8th Assembly. He called for mutual respect between all Arms of Government for the development of democracy. He thanked the Speaker of giving him the opportunity to Chair the Committee he did and also asked for forgiveness from all he must have offended during the discharge of his duties.
Hon. Abdulrahman Shuaibu: expressed what a rewarding experience it was to represent his constituents in the 8th Assembly. He also affirmed that the 8th Assembly has been outstanding and wished those in the 9th Assembly well.
Hon. Binta Bashir: thanked her husband and constituents for giving her the opportunity to represent them and participate in the 8th Assembly. She commended Members of the 8th Assembly for churning out so many people-oriented Bills and Motions and urged those coming back in the 9th Assembly to use the opportunity to better the lives of Nigerians.
Hon. Goni Bukar: praised the leadership qualities of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara for wading through all the turbulent periods of the 8th Assembly. He also praised Rt. Hon. Dogara for initiating the Northeast Development Commission Bill for the betterment of the Northeastern region of Nigeria.
Hon. Ali Wudil: expressed mixed emotions at the successful rounding up of the 8th Assembly, but lamented the fact that a number of wonderful Members would not be coming back in the 9th Assembly. He also mourned Members who died during the 8th Assembly and prayed God to keep all Members of the 9th Assembly alive and safe. He wished all Members well in their future endeavors.
Hon. Nnenna Ukeje: in what is her last contribution on the Green Chambers for now; stated that the 8th Assembly couldn’t have produced a better Speaker than Rt. Hon. Dogara. She thanked her constituents for giving her the opportunity to serve and dedicated all she has achieved to the opportunity she was given. She charged the incoming Members to remain steadfast to the cause of effective representation and be a proactive check on the Executive with the good of Nigerians in mind. She also proposed for Legislations aimed at improving domestic and foreign policies.
Hon. Bode Ayorinde: commended the leadership of the 8th Assembly for the work done so far. He decried as alarming the insecurity and unemployment rate and called for true leadership to check these vices. He also advocated for the industrialization of Nigeria so that the citizens can be self sufficient. He hailed the Supreme Court for the judgement on Zamfara State, this he said will help to improve internal party democracy.
Hon. Sunday Karimi: called for vibrant internal and people- based (not Executive-based) democracy which would strengthen representation and democracy
Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim: praised the bond of comradeship in the Legislature using the friendship between Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as a glowing example. He praised the united spirit of getting things done for the good of Nigerians.
Hon. Johnson Agbonayinma: expressed gratitude to all Members for their conduct during the 8th Assembly and reminded Members that Parliament is the voice and hope of the people. He urged Members to always rise above Party lines and sentiments, to this he urged Members to always stand for the right principles and leave the right legacy.
Hon. Shekarau Johnbul: extolled the knowledge and experience gained in serving his constituents as their representative and wished Members the best in all their endeavors.
Hon. Hassan Saleh: thanked God for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of his constituents through representation. He also admonished Members of the 9th Assembly to put Nigerians first in all they do.
Hon. Evelyn Oboro: thanked God for the opportunity to positively affect her constituents through human capacity development and people-oriented developmental projects.
Hon. Obinna Chidoka: thanked God for the wonderful experiences he has gotten in his stints in the House of Representatives. He prayed for success for Members of the 9th Assembly.
Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas: has always appreciated Parliamentarians even while he was in the private sector. Appreciated the Speaker for letting him Chair the House Committee on Media, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve in a role that enabled him enlighten Nigerians during the Budget Padding saga. He wished all Members both retuning and non-returning the best in all their future endeavors.
Hon. Aishatu Dukku: thanked God for the opportunity to serve Nigeria as a Member and thanked the Speaker for giving her the opportunity to Chair the Committee on Electoral Matters and help improve the electioneering process in the country, hence deepening democracy. She also commended the Deputy Soeaker, Rt. Hon. Yussuff Lasun for always encouraging her even when things got tough. She regretted the inability of Parliament to completely stamp out vote buying by the process of Law making.
Hon. Nicholas Ossai: commended the Members of the 8th Assembly for Passing an unprecedented number of people-relevant Bills, he expressed his unrivaled pride in actively participating in the Lawmaking process of the 8th Assembly. He commended the 8th Assembly for giving out legislature aimed at strengthening economic development, security development and reducing the excessive waste of government expenses; hence deepening transparency and accountability to Nigerians.
Hon. Mojeed Alabi: congratulated Members of the 8th Assembly for the practical knowledge gained which would undoubtedly help him in his future endeavors
Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha: praised Members for the comradeship and resolve to cross out sentiments in order to work towards a better Nigeria. She also thanked her constituents for the opportunity to serve them. She commended the leadership of the 8th Assembly for successfully steering the affairs of the House.
Hon. Mohammed Monguno: on behalf of the Members of the Northeast caucus expressed his joy for the ability to finish the 8th Assembly well. He praised the 8th Assembly for being concerned for the plight of the Northeast and for its development.
Hon. Ayo Omidiran: on behalf of Members of the South-West caucus expressed her gratitude to God for keeping Members of all caucuses safe and sound till the end of the 8th Assembly. She affirmed that the 8th Assembly is a successful one by all standards. She prayed that the 9th Assembly should strengthen caucuses so that regional development will be enhanced.
Hon. Nkem Abonta: on behalf of Members of the Southeast caucus praised Members of the House for tolerating each other with decorum. He also thanked Members for supporting the Southeast development Commission Bill. He urged Members of the 9th Assembly to be more focused and worship no one to gain more achievements for the Nigerian State.
Hon. Garba Datti: on behalf of Members of the North-West caucus praised Members of the 8th Assembly and wished those not returning in the 9th Assembly all the best in future endeavors. He also congratulated Members moving over to the Senate and urged them to remain worthy ambassadors of the House of Representatives. He praised the Speaker Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara for being a Nationalist to the core and being totally detribalized and for his selfless and humble nature.
Hon. Orker Jev: speaking on behalf of Members of the North-Cenral caucus expressed his pride over working with all Members with whom he has formed a special bond. He expressed sadness as he would miss Members whom he has grown fond of as he is crossing over to the Senate. He stated that the North- Central region was one that was also ravaged by banditry and hoped a coherent effort aimed at rebuilding and rehabilitating it would be mounted. He also urged Members to forgive him if he erred against them especially in his role as the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business.
Hon. Betty Apiafi: speaking on behalf of Members of the South-South caucus looked back into history and called for participation of more women in Legislation. She also called on the Executive to give more appointments to women to increase direct empowerment. She advocated for the full adoption of the tenets of the proposed e-parliament so that each Assembly can point to visible development. She also clarified that the peculiar challenges of the South-South region should ensure proper appropriation.
Rt. Hon. Umar Na’aba: on behalf of former Presiding Officers praised the 8th Assembly for staying true to the core of the House of Representatives and expressed their pride to be associated with the 8th House of Representatives. He also praised the leadership for carrying on the torch in great fashion. He called for continuous independence of the Legislature mixed with collaboration with the Executive in the forward interest of Nigerians. He termed it as demeaning for Parliamentarians to visit MDAs in Oversight and urged the invitation of such MDAs to come to Parliament for fact rendering. He also lamented the high level of insecurity and urged the Members of the 9th Assembly to collaborate with the Executive to ensure the democracy is depended . He lamented that the Nigerian economy and Party Politics has not developed in recent times.
Rt. Hon. Olu Bunmi Etteh: on behalf of former Presiding Officers shared in the joy of Members for their accomplishments. She urged Members who are not returning to aim higher, using those who have gone on to become State Governors as examples. She praised the leadership of the 8th Assembly for finishing well and urged the incoming leaders to aim higher. She urged the incoming Members to salvage the degrading situation of the Nation by working together with the Executive to achieve this. She urged the Executive to accommodate experienced patriots to continue to deliver from their knowledge base. She urged for more women participation in politics and governance.
Rt. Emeka Ihedioha: on behalf of former Presiding Officers conveyed their felicitations to the Leadership and Members of the 8th House of Representatives for their wonderful work of keeping the flag of the Green Chambers flying high. He commended Members and urged them to keep comradeship strong in all their future endeavors. He praised the Speaker Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara for coming out unscathed after all challenges. He also urged the incoming Members of the 9th Assembly to keep up the admirable trend.
APPRAISAL OF THE 8th HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Prof. J. Dakas: at the second anniversary of the 8th House of Representatives, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara said self appraisal is problematic, as it is prone to bias. Going back into history the House came into effect on the 9th of June 2015 and it has been four years of history. Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara pledged then to wage a legislative war on Nigeria’s problems. The Legislative Agenda of the 8th House of Representatives was highly instrumental to achieving this enormous feat. It is highly commendable to note that the 8th Assembly tried to decrease the cost of governance, a point that has pit the Legislature against the Nigerian people. The mandate of the 8th House of Representatives has done creditably well in engaging with their representation of constituents. He praised how the Speaker pointed out that Members seem to be in competition with each other to fashion out people-based Legislation, of which he is really pleased. He praised in particular The Not too Young to Run Bill, the PIGB and the North East Development Commission Bill of the 8th Assembly. He acknowledged the constraints of delivery facing Lawmakers as they are expected to deliver services that is strictly in the purview of the Executive. He praised the Leadership of the 8th House of Representatives for keeping the House United to deliver for the Nigerian people despite the manner the Leadership emerged, he urged the incoming Members to tow the same line and keep the House United after electing their leaders. He warned on excessive interest of political parties interests in trying to impose leaders on Honourable Members, as this is the role of Members alone. He also urged for the strengthening of the budgeting process, the Legislature is supposed to make inputs to budgetary estimates based on the information at their disposal on different sectors of the economy, this is definitely not padding. He however called for discipline in legislative inputs taking into account the government capacity to implement. He urged both Parties (Executive and Legislature) to try and ensure the timeline of budget delivery is complied with. He also decried the high turnover rate as Members lose their seat before their full potential and influence is attained. He advocated for better information dissemination to the public so that Nigerians can appreciate the functions of a thriving Parliament. He rounded up by quoting the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara’s charge to Members to always put Nigerians first above Party and personal interest. To make Laws for the peace and good governance of Nigerians, as this shows the difference between leaders who plan for the next generation and politicians who only think of the next election. He thanked Speaker Dogara for the humility, for rising above religious divide and for over the years focusing on leadership.
REMARKS BY THE LEADERSHIP
Hon. Edward Pwajok: the 8th House of Representatives Passed an unprecedented number of Bills and Motions, as well as laid and dealt with an equally high number of Petitions. This he stated has justified why Parliament should remain a full time vocation. He urged Members to May more attention to the Committee of the Whole where Laws are truly made. He also praised the quality of the Bills and Motions Passed in the 8th House of Representatives.
Hon. Chukwuka Onyema: expressed joy to Members for the qualitative representation over the years. He wished Members well in all their endeavors. He reminded Members that a viable opposition is necessary for a vibrant Legislature. He praised Members for overcoming all differences for the good of Nigerians.
Hon. Yakubu Barde: expressed condolences to the families of Members lost during the 8th House of Representatives. He commended the leadership qualities of Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Deputy Speaker Yussuff Lasun, as well as Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who let go of his earlier defeat to work with Speaker Yakubu Dogara for the good of the House. He promised that the PDP will continue to be a viable and constructive opposition to keep the Ruling Party on their toes for the good of the Nation. He also praised the 8th Assembly for the Sectoral debate which promoted involvement of Nigerians in governance. He praised the quality and nature of Bills Passed that have continued to positively affect Nigerians, in that vein however; he hoped the Electoral Act will be properly Amended to accommodate electronic voting so that the genuine wishes of the people will no longer be truncated. He then pleaded for forgiveness from Members he may have offended during the course of the 8th House of Representatives.
Hon. Pally Iriase: praised all Staff and individuals that made the work and achievements of the 8th House of Representatives possible. He commended the leadership of Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and Rt. Hon. Yussuff Lasun for the success of the 8th House of Representatives especially in the Constitution Amendment exercise. He also expressed gladness that Bills at an advanced stage don’t need to have their processes of Passage begin all over again in the 9th Assembly, but can be dusted off, re-sponsored and continued from where they stopped in the 8th Assemby.
Hon. Ahmed Idris: thanked God for the 8th Assembly finishing well. He expressed condolences to families of Members lost. He asked for wisdom of God to Members going to the Senate and that God gives prosperity of endeavor to Members not coming back. He prayed for more friendship and bond between incoming Members and prayed for more focus. He also commended Members of Committees and other Staff for their efforts. He also asked for forgiveness from those he must have offended during the 8th Assembly.
Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa: dedicated the success of the 8th House of Representatives to the fallen Heroes that is Members that have Passed away during the time of the 8th Assembly. He urged Members not to forget the contributions of these Members and honor their memories and families. He also thanked the leadership for the various opportunities given him to serve in various capacities that have developed his capabilities on numerous fronts. He however regretted some of the critical Bills that were not able to get Presidential Assent. He also asked for forgiveness from those he must have offended during the 8th Assembly.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila: stated that despite the rocky start with which the 8th House of Representatives started, the leadership came together to steady the ship for the goodness of democracy. He stated that he would miss Members not returning to the House. He charged Members of the opposition in the 9th House of Representatives to continue to stand on the right footing and keep the Nigerian interest first. He commended the joint leadership of Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and Rt. Yussuff Lasun for their wonderful examples to Members of the 8th House of Representatives. He prayed that whoever God gives the privilege of handling the power of the gavel in the 9th House of Representatives should take it to a better level. He also praised the qualities of Bills Passed in the 8th Assembly and called for more qualitative ones even if the numbers of qualitative Bills are not as many as people want, quality and content however trump quantity.
Rt. Hon. Yussuff Lasun: advised that one of the most difficult roles to play is to be a Deputy as it portrays one as not having his own direction, but it is a capacity in which he has tried to be efficient despite contrary expectations. The responsibility of the Office of the Deputy Speaker in Plenary is enormous and thanked Members for the support given to him to function. He enjoined Members to always hold unto the procedures of Legislation as that forms the belief of Policies above individuals. He urged the Executive and Legislature to continue to work harmoniously to ensure the budgeting process have less friction. He also hoped that in the near future the autonomy of the Local Governments and State House of Assemblies will be achieved.
Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara: thanked all Members and invited guests for investing their time with the 8th House of Representatives. He congratulated Leaders and Members for witnessing the end of the journey. He remembered Members who Passed away during the Course of the 8th House of Representatives. He also praised Members for their cooperation in ensuring his Leadership was successful. The 8th Assembly was full of intrigues and surprises, but Members went through it all together. It is commendable that the tenets of the 8th House of Representatives deepened democracy despite the fact that it was one of the most persecuted. Parliament’s duty is to be a check on the Executive and it must never shy away from this democratic duty, no matter how it is hounded, as Parliaments are not meant to receive praise as a rubber stamp. He also praised Members for banding together in nationalism and patriotism and leaving out partisan politics in nationalistic issues. He is still concerned about the future of the economy of Nigeria, as well as the spate of insecurity; the whispers once neglected has turned into screams threatening the ear drums of Nigerians. The deteriorating plight of Nigerians should be built up. He however remains optimistic that the future is bright, not only by mineral resources; but by the Nigerian people. He gave his best wishes to Members not returning in the 9th Assembly. He called on Members to forgive him in any way he must have offended any of them during his duty in the 8th Assembly. He employed Members coming in the 9th Assembly to raise the bar set by the 8th Assembly. He also thanked the Media, Civil Society Organizations, Chambers Staff, Clerk of the House and all invited guests as unsung heroes of the 8th House of Representatives. He acknowledged all Members and Leaders for being brothers and sisters indeed and assured that the journey is still on and more doors are bound to open especially for Members not returning to the 9th Assembly. The work of democracy still beckons to Members of the 9th Assembly, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The 8th House of Representatives Adjourned Sine Die.