THE 9th Senate having completed its four-year term is at the moment carrying out a Valedictory session where the Senators are having the opportunity to speak their minds on their stay in the Upper Chamber.
Declaring the session open at 10.59 am, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan said that the session was a special one against the backdrop that it would be used by the Senators to make remarks on the journey that started on 11th June 2019 and ended today.
The motion to begin the process was moved by the leader of the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, APC, Sokoto East to start the valedictory session to mark the end of the 9th Senate, the motion was seconded by the Minority leader, Senator Philip Aduda, PDP, FCT.
Leading the presentation, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, APC, Delta Central who urged the returning Senators to support the incoming leaders of the Senate to achieve good governance, said that he is satisfied with his conscience that the 9th Senate returned the annual budgeting cycles from January to December, passed the Petroleum Industry Act and ensured that the Electoral Act 2023 is there for the conduct of credible elections.
In his remarks, Vice President Kashim Shettima, APC, Borno Central told the Senators- elect to have in their minds that the stability of Nigeria was greater than the stability of their pockets and asked them to vote wisely during the election of Presiding officers for the progress of the country.
Shettima said, “As we bid farewell to this chapter, let us remember that our journey has just begun. For some of us, a new chapter beckons. As the mantle of leadership passes into fresh hands, those who will continue this noble calling, I extend my sincere congratulations.
“To my colleagues who will depart this chamber, I address you not as colleagues left behind, but as friends who have become an integral part of my history
“We have served shoulder to shoulder in the face of adversity and worked relentlessly for the betterment of our nation.
“To my incoming colleagues, I will leave you with a parable, ‘the stability of this nation is superior to the stability of our pockets’. On Tuesday, let us vote wisely, let us vote for the Nigerian nation.”
On her part, the nation’s first lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Lagos Central who noted that as Nigerians, we have been blessed because the President has passed through this chamber, the Vice president has passed through the Chamber, the wife of the President, as well as Governors, have passed through the same Chamber, said, “For me, I believe the 10th Assembly will give us double grace, number 10 will give us double grace.”
When it was time for him to speak, the Senate Whip and former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, APC, Abia North who noted that his remarks would be a little bit emotional, wept while speaking, narrating how he has been treated politically, especially by those he helped build and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he spent his money to nurture.
Kalu who started weeping at 1.19 pm, said: “Before I came into politics, I could buy anything money can buy. I’m not a thief. Those that put me in prison know the reason. They took over my businesses and wanted to kill me yet I survived it and I’m in the senate with you.
“I have never lacked, while I was in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where I served for two terms as governor, I brought the money that they used in forming that party, every penny, in 1997 and 1998, and I later became a thief.
“People I gave transport money from my house in Victoria Island became agents. This is what Nigeria represents. Thank you for giving me these four years of uninterrupted support. This country is not fair.”