Home Politics Deafening Silence of Sen Simon Bako Lalong, Abdulaziz Yari, and 22 Others...

Deafening Silence of Sen Simon Bako Lalong, Abdulaziz Yari, and 22 Others with no Single Bill as the 10th Senate Clocks One Year

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The 10th Nigerian Senate will on Thursday, 13th June, 2024 be one year in office. In the bicameral legislative system, Nigeria’s apex legislative chamber, the Senate, often come alive with voices of distinguished senators that sponsor bills, clamour for alterations, amendments of existing bills, debate hot-button issues, and influence the direction of policy.

Yet, as the 10th Senate marked its first anniversary, there was a deep and deafening silence from a number of senators. Among these silent senators without any bill are Senator Simon Bako Lalong, Abdulaziz Yari, and twenty-two others, whose silence stood in stark contrast to the incessant buzz of legislative activity around them.

Sen Lalong, a former governor of Plateau State is one out of the 12 other former governors in the 10th Senate. The number of former governors in the hallow chambers depleted from 14 to 12 when Sen Dave Umahi and Ibrahim Gaidam were appointed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Ministers.

However, following the Court of Appeals judgment of November 2023, Sen Simon Bako Lalong who was roundly humiliated at the polls by a retired Air Vice Marshall, Sen Napoleon Binkap Bali made his entrance to the senate. The Supreme Court has since gone on to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal while delivering judgment in the case of Dr Nentaweh Yiltwada vs Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang (Executive Governor of Plateau State)

Other former governors in the senate are Senate President Godswill Akpabio (APC, Akwa Ibom North West); Sani Bello (APC, Niger North), Aminu Tambuwal (PDP, Sokoto South), Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central), Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa West), Ibrahim Dankwambo (PDP, Gombe North), Adams Oshiomhole (APC, Edo North), Adamu Aliero (PDP, Kebbi Central), Gbenga Daniel (APC, Ogun East), Aliyu Wammako (APC, Sokoto North), Orji Uzor Kalu (APC, Abia North), and Abdulaziz Yari (APC, Zamfara West) who lost the Senate President contest to Sen Akpabio.

Sworn-in in December 2023, Sen Lalong Lalong, a two term former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, was expected to bring his wealth of experience to the Senate’s discourse, as was former Zamfara State Governor Yari, a two term House of Representatives member who lost the contest for Senate President to the incumbent, Sen Godswill Akapbio

Among the 13 former governors, nine have sponsored bills in the one year of the 10th Assembly. They are Orji Uzor Kalu, five bills; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, two; Senator Gbenga Daniel, APC, Ogun East, four; Senator Dankwambo, three; Aminu Tambuwal, one; Sani Bello, three; Danjuma Goje, two; Wammako, two; and Adamu Aliero, one.

Some of Lalong’s colleagues who held sway as Chief Executives of their states – former governors, and are yet to present any bill during this one year just like Lalong include Senators Adams Oshiomhole, Henry Seriake Dickson, and Abdulaziz Yari.

Little time Sen Lalong has spent in the senate, one will argue but on a comparative basis with Rep Daniel Asama who won the February 2024 bye election as the Member representing Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, and has spent lesser months in the National Assembly compared to Sen Lalong, Asama sponsored so many bills.

Like Sen Lalong, Sen Prince Pam Dachung has been unmoved when decisions affecting the nation were deliberated upon and enacted. The numerous challenges Plateau State faces have not triggered any reaction from the journalist cum Senator to sponsor a bill

A senator’s role, it must be noted is multifaceted, encompassing not only participation in debates and voting but also the crucial function of sponsoring bills – proposals for new laws or amendments to existing ones that reflect the needs and aspirations of their constituents.

Spectators Senators:

A total of 24 senators apart from the four former governors who are yet to sponsor any bill are Senators Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North) – Former Senate President, Peter Jiya (PDP, Niger South), Oluwole Fasuyi Cyril (APC, Ekiti North), Victor Umeh (LP, Anambra Central), Titus Tartenger Zam (APC, Benue North-West), Adegbonmire Adeniyi Ayodele (APC, Ondo Central), Anthony Ani (APC, Ebonyi South), Imasuen Neda Bernards (LP, Edo South); Okechukwu Ezea (LP, Enugu North), Kaila Samaila Dahuwa (PDP, Bauchi North), Oyewumi Kamorudeen Olalere (PDP, Osun West), Chukwu Chizoba (LP, Enugu East), Khabeeb Mustapha (PDP, Jigawa South West), and Abdul Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central),.

Other senators who found comfort in the resting chair include Manu Haruna (PDP, Taraba Central), Abdulaziz Yar’Adua (APC, Katsina Central), Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia South), Mohammed Dandutse Muntari (APC, Katsina South), Pam Dachungyang (ADP, Plateau North); Onyesoh Allwell Heacho, (PDP, Rivers East); Ibrahim Lamido (APC, Sokoto East), Senators Rufai Hanga (NNPP, Kano Central), and Musa Mustapha (APC, Yobe East).

Political analysts and constituents are worried about the legislative inertia of Sen Lalong who as a former governor of the state that is well acquainted with the cahllenges of the state should be the bridge between the populace and policies. As a senator, his duty extends beyond mere representation; he is the architect of progress through legislation.

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