2023 General Election most competitive, hard-fought since 1999 – Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila

By Tom Okpe

Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila has informed that the 2023 general election in the country is the most competitive and ever hard-fought since return to democratic dispensation in 1999.

Gbajabiamila made this assertions in his remarks during formal induction of first batch, National Assembly members-elect in Abuja on Tuesday at the Transcorp Hilton.

While congratulating members-elect on their election victories, Gbajabiamila also, called on the representatives, to justify the offices, by quality of endeavours in that office.

“For those of us in the legislature, this means that the quality of our law-making and advocacy, excellence of our constituency services, thoroughness of our oversight activities and substance of our discourse in the chamber must be unimpeachable.

“As you enter the 10th Assembly, I urge you to remember that nothing of consequence is achieved by individual effort alone in parliament. You will either rise together or fall alone.

“I welcome you at this singular moment in our nation’s history when the talents, perspectives and dedication of all political leaders are required to steer us through present challenges towards the success we desire and hopefully, deserve.

“Additionally, you have a crucial responsibility of building an effective operational relationship with the executive arm. Your responsibility for overseeing executive actions is not an invitation to conflict for its own sake,” he stated.

Emphasising the experience of the recently held general polls, Gbajabiamila said:

“In this election, assumptions about electoral performance based on historical antecedents proved nought.

“Rooted political parties and interests were dislodged in places where such had proved impossible for two decades.

“Persons who had never aspired to political office or whose previous aspirations had failed, succeeded this time.

“Our national politics have been rewritten. We are in a new age of Nigerian democracy. The Nigerian people have awakened to the enormous power of their votes.

“This election ended the days when membership of a particular political party conferred on an officeholder a virtually automatic guarantee of reelection.”

He urged members-elect for the 10th Assembly to target at performing better than the outgoing 9th session of the parliament.

“The 9th House of Representatives and the National Assembly have been unusually innovative and substantive. This places a heavy obligation on successor parliaments to be better and to do more.

“You will note that all the highlighted achievements have been achieved on a bi-partisan basis through efforts of legislators, working together, despite their membership in different political parties.

“As you enter the 10th Assembly, I urge you to remember that nothing of consequence is achieved by individual effort alone in parliament,” he said.

Declaring the induction open, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said the 9th Senate was mindful of the damaging effect of persistent conflict with the Executive and the resultant impact on legislative activities.

“Our intention in preferring an engagement with the executive based on harmony and collaboration has been to better serve Nigeria by providing a safe atmosphere for national development.”

Lawan also said the 9th Senate had performed exceedingly well in terms of number and quality of bills introduced, passed and assented to.

“As of July 2022, a total of 874 bills were introduced in the Senate, out of which, 162 were passed.

“Remarkably, 104 Bills of the 9th Senate have been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“This made it significantly higher than those of previous assemblies, which recorded 31 for the 4th Assembly, 98 for the 5th Assembly, 52 for the 6th Assembly, 60 for the 7th Assembly, and 74 for the 8th Assembly.”

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Also speaking, Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, (NILDS), Abubakar Sulaiman said the institute has the experience, tools and expertise to support the new members in bill and motion drafting, bill analysis and scrutiny among others.

Sulaiman urged the legislators to engage regularly and constructively with the public, civil society, the media, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) and other stakeholders for better legislation.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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