By Nuel Suji, Abuja.
Former governor of Kwara state, Senator Bukola Saraki on Friday blamed the 7th National Assembly for allowing itself to be enmeshed in fights and political wars that only served selfish purposes and party politics with little general public good.
Saraki who is one of the strong contenders for the Senate President office in the next Senate, also faulted the poor handling of the ill-fated Nigerian Immigration Service Recruitment Exercise, by the leadership of the 7th Senate.
The former governor in statement issued to mark the end of the 7th Senate, noted with great concern that the senate did not act on the report of the probe instituted by the senate on the unfortunate incident during which many young Nigerians lost their lives.
He said, “We have to tell ourselves the home truth, we have missed the cut on the level of our effectiveness, especially so with regards to amending laws that impact on the revenues and expenditures of the state, budget reforms, infrastructure financing and deployment, accountability instruments and agency laws.
“The senate, also, has not carried its integrity far enough to secure its independence which may have emboldened the police on the 20th of November 2014 to invade the precincts of the Assembly, desecrating it in a manner never seen before within the precincts of the Assembly.
“The Seventh National Assembly allowed itself to be enmeshed in fights and political wars that only served selfish purposes and party politics with little general public good.”
Saraki expressed dissatisfaction the passage of 46 bills within 10 minutes saying it is improper.
He said, “The new Senate must now learn and show that it has the vigour and drive to work harder through enriched deliberations to pass important bills that form the core of its agenda rather than be seen as a last minute assembly where important bills are rolled through the process in 10 minutes.
“My view is that it was important that we pass those laws but I have my reservation on the railroading of over 46 bills in 10 minutes. History will not be too kind to us on this count.
“This is made even a little steeper by the commentary that must follow that after another four years, the National Assembly was not able to pass such water shed bills like the PIB, the Federal Competition Bill and the NOSDRA Bill among many other bills that have the regulatory potential of changing the way our economy operates.”
Saraki however noted that the 7th Senate, had done well in a number of areas but noted that the last assembly could still done better.
He also described as improper, the Wednesday passage of 46 bills within 10 minutes by the upper chamber.
Saraki therefore urged the incoming 8th Senate to develop and promote a coherent national agenda which it would pursue to in order to support and the direction of Nigerians and the government.