4 ex-govs, 21 other senators sponsor no bill in 10 months

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Four of the 13 former governors in the Senate and 21 other senators have not sponsored any bill since June 13, 2023 when the 10th National Assembly was inaugurated, Daily Trust’s findings have shown.

The ex-governors in the Senate are Senate President Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Abubakar Bello (Niger), Orji Kalu (Abia), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Adamu Aliero (Kebbi), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Gbenga Daniel (Ogun) and Simon Lalong (Plateau).   

A document obtained by Daily Trust from the National Assembly showed that from June 13, 2023 to March 14, 2024, twenty five senators, including four former governors, have not sponsored any bill.

The former governors on this list are Senators Seriake Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa West), Adams Oshiomhole (APC-Edo North), Abdulaziz Yari (APC -Zamfara West) and Simon Lalong (APC – Plateau South).

However, unlike others, Lalong was sworn in as a senator in December 2023 when the Court of Appeal sacked Napoleon Bali of the PDP and declared him winner of the election. Before then, Lalong had served as Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s cabinet for about four months.

Other senators, who are also yet to sponsor any bill within the period under review are Victor Umeh (Anambra Central), Titus Tartenger Zam (Benue North West), Anthony Ani (Ebonyi South), Imasuen Neda Bernards (Edo South), Oluwole Fasuyi Cyril (Ekiti North), Okechukwu Ezea (Enugu North), Chukwu Chizoba (Enugu East), Kaila Samaila Dahuwa (Bauchi North), Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central), Khabeeb Mustapha (Jigawa South West), Rufai Hanga (Kano Central), Abdulaziz Yar’adua (Katsina Central), Mohammed Dandutse Muntari (Katsina South), Peter Jiya (Niger South), Adegbonmire Adeniyi Ayodele (Ondo Central), Oyewumi Kamorudeen Olalere (Osun West), Pam Dachungyang (Plateau North), Onyesoh Allwell Heacho (Rivers East), Ibrahim Lamido (Sokoto East), Manu Haruna (Taraba Central) and Musa Mustapha (Yobe East).

However, Ani, Dachungyang and Mustapha were inaugurated into the Senate at later dates.

 

My bill ready soon – Oshiomhole 

Contacted for comments, Senator Oshiomhole told Daily Trust that he was working on a bill and would soon present it to the floor of the Senate. His media aide, Victor Oshioke, told Daily Trust that his principal had sponsored a motion on the Benin-Auchi Road. “So, he is sponsoring his own bill very soon too,” he said

Senator Lalong’s media aide, Simon Makut, in a text message to Daily Trust, said: “The distinguished senator will sponsor bills.”

Senators Dickson and Yari did not respond to requests for comment. Dickson neither answered phone calls nor responded to SMS and WhatsApp messages sent to him for comment since Friday and subsequent reminders were also ignored.

Senator Yari also did not answer phone calls nor replied to an SMS sent with follow-ups since Saturday.

 

9 ex-govs sponsor 21 bills 

Findings by Daily Trust also showed that while none of those four senators has sponsored any bill yet; nine others have at least a bill each to their credit.

Daily Trust reports that between June 2023 and March 14, 2024, a total of 279 bills had been sponsored in the Senate.

Of all the former governors in the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu (APC-Abia North) has five bills to his name: the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023; the Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024; the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024;  the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024 and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Agency Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024. 

Senator Gbenga Daniel (APC-Ogun East) has sponsored four bills: the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024; the Federal College of Aviation Technology (Establishment) Bill, 2023; the Terminal Illness Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2023 and the Media Practitioners Registration Council of Nigeria (Amendment) Bill, 2024. 

Senate President Godswill Akpabio and former governor of Akwa Ibom State has sponsored the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2023 and the National Institute for Electoral Studies (Establishment) Bill, 2023.

Senator Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe Central), former governor of Gombe State, has so far sponsored two bills in this Assembly: the Federal University of Horticulture Dadin-Kowa, Gombe State (Establishment) Bill and the Federal Medical Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023. 

Another former governor of Gombe State, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo (PDP- Gombe North), has sponsored the Federal University of Education (Technical), Gombe (Establishment) Bill, 2023 and the Federal College of Forestry, Wawa Zange, Dukku, Gombe State (Establishment) Bill, 2023.

The immediate past governor of Niger State, Senator Abubakar Bello (APC- Niger North), has also sponsored two bills: the Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Wushishi, Niger State (Establishment) Bill, 2023 and the Agriculture Research Council of Nigeria Act (Enactment) Bill, 2023. 

A former governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wammako (APC-Sokoto North), has also sponsored two bills: the National War College Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Pension Reform Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024. 

The immediate past governor of Sokoto and former speaker of the House of Representatives, Senator Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (PDP-Sokoko South), is the sponsor of the Federal Housing Authority Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023. 

A former governor of Kebbi State, Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP-Kebbi Central) has sponsored the Federal University, Birnin Kebbi (Establishment) Bill, 2023.

In the Senate as a whole, the Senate Majority Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) who sponsored 23 bills has had the highest number of sponsored bills with the Deputy Senate President, Barau I. Jibrin (APC, Kano North) closely following behind with 15 bills.

 

They should wake up – Analysts

Political analysts, who spoke to Daily Trust, advised the former governors yet to sponsor bills to wake up. 

Aminu Yakudima, said having former governors in the National Assembly is expected to deepen aggregate governance quality in the country. 

“But, it will be bad if the former governors are there without performing. So, such former governors should be advised to improve their effectiveness and efficiency so that the country will move forward.

“What we are looking for now is patriotism and nationalism. We have high expectations of them. So, they should be advised to wake up from their slumber and improve,” he urged.

Another political analyst, Jackson Lekan Ojo, also said the former governors in the Senate must step up and deliver on their mandates to remain relevant or face more criticisms from Nigerians.

“While it is obvious that they retired from the office of governor to the Senate to keep their political career alive and remain relevant in the scheme of things, they should also contribute to the growth of their zones and Nigeria through impactful legislation,” he stated.

 

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