The year 2015 has come and almost gone, yet the 8th Senate has recorded significant progress, as well as faced a number of challenges.
The distinguished Senators of the 8th National Assembly, under the leadership of Senate President Bukola Saraki have all in one way or the other contributed immensely to the successes and achievements of the 8th Senate thus far and most importantly to the growth and development of Nigeria as a whole.
Below is a list of the ten most vibrant Senators of the year 2015. These set of Senators have been selected because of either their eloquent contributions on the floor of the Senate Chamber during debates, their meaningful Motions or significant Bills.
1. Senator Babajide Christopher Omoworare: Representing Osun-East Senatorial District has contributed greatly to the daily running of the 8th Senate Legislative Activities through the Senate Special Committee on Rules and Business. Senator Omoworare is the Chairman of this Committee and so far it has always delivered on its duties like producing the Senate Order Paper. Omoworare has also presented a couple of Bills to the Senate; one of these Bills is ‘Nigerian Law Reform Commission Act CAP N118 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2015 (SB. 27)’.
2. Senator Ben Murray-Bruce: Representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Murray-Bruch is commonly known and recognized on Social Media as the man who speaks about Common Sense approaches to dealing with many of Nigeria’s problems. This first time Senate has also contributed severally to Motions, Bills and other matters of the 8th Senate. One of his recent Bills is the ‘Ward Security Watches Nationwide (Est. ect.) Bill 2015 (SB. 80)’.
3. Senator Ali Ndume is the Leader of the 8th Senate. Representing Borno South Senatorial District, Ndume, since the inception of the 8th Senate has been saddled with the responsibility of seeing to the day-to-day running of Senate’s Legislative Activities during plenary. One of his recent Bills is ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the North-East Development Commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to address the devastation caused by insurgency and other matters connected 2015 (SB. 31)’.
4. Senator Stella Oduah representing Anambra North Senatorial District has presented some important Bills in the house as well; one of the Bills is a ‘National Youth Service Corps (Amendment) Bill 2015 (SB. 147)’ and has also sponsored a Motion on the ‘Construction of Dams to Remedy the Perennial Flood Disasters in Nigeria’.
5. Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central is also known for his vivid contributions in the Senate. Just like his other colleagues, he has also presented some Bills and sponsored Motions in the Senate. Recently, Senator Sani sponsored an important Motion on the ‘Excessive Tuition Fee Charged by the Nigerian Law School,’ and also presented a Bill on ‘National Commission for Peace Reconciliation and Mediation Bill 2015 (SB. 74).
6. Senator Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu: Representing Imo East Senatorial District, Anyanwu is the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions. Anyanwu’s Committee is evidently one of the most active Committees in the 8th Senate. The Committee handles all sorts of Public Petitions and other related matters. Some of the Petitions that were referred to the Committee this year included: the Petition from one Mr. Nnoke Chinedum against Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Limited; a Petition from one Mr. Stephen G. Balabacho and others against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); a Petition from one Mr. Adamu Abdullahi and other disengaged staff of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); a Petition from one Usman Pindar and Nasir Ahmed against Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF); a Petition from one Engr. Adamu Suleiman Yakubu againstthe National Universities Commission (NUC), and; a Petition from one Sergeant Amos Olaniyan against the Nigerian Police Force and many others.
7. Senator Biodun Olujimi: Representing Ekiti South Senatorial District, Biodun Olujimi has been a very active opposition member of the 8th Senate. In addition to her great contributions during debates and her constructive responses to her colleagues on the other side, she has presented quite a number of Bills. Some of these aforementioned Bills include: a ‘Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill 2015 (SB. 37)’ and the ‘Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act CAP C34 Laws of the federation 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2015.’
8. Senator Andy Emmanuel Uba: Representing Anambra South Senatorial District, Andy Uba has presented several Bills in the 8th Senate. One of his recent Bill is ‘A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act, CAP N129, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and to Enact the Nigerian Railway Bill, 2015, to Provide for the Regulation of the Railway Sector in Nigeria and for other Purposes Connected Therewith.’
9. Senator Olusola Adeyeye: Serving as the Chief Whip of the Senate and as the Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District, Professor Adeyeye is his role as a principal officer works to maintain order on the floor of the Senate, and garner bipartisan support for key pieces of legislation. Senator Adeyeye is also well known by his colleagues and everyone who follows Senate Proceedings for his unbiased contributions and his passion for the Nigerian Senate.
10. Senator Dino Melaye: Representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye is a very popular and out-spoken Senator of the 8th Senate. A key ally of the Senate President, Melaye has sponsored a number of Motions in the Senate. One of these Motions is on the “Ailing Ajaokuta Steel Company.” The Senator was also recently in the news for revealing the mismanagement of Treasury Single Account (TSA) funds.
This piece will not be complete without recognizing the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki for his admirable leadership and running of the 8th Senate thus far. The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Ubong Akpabio (Akwa Ibom North West) for shepherding the affairs of the opposition Senators; Senator Ighoyota Amori (Delta Central) for the Motion on Gas Flaring in Nigeria Particularly in the Niger-Delta Region; Senator Abubakar Kyari (Borno North) who is the Chairman Senate Committee on National Electoral Commission for successfully conducting the three-day Power Probe; Senator Mao A. Ohuabunwa (Abia North) for sponsoring a Motion on The Plight of the Nigerian Medical Doctors in Training; Senator Francis Asekhame Alimikhena for presenting A Bill for an Act to Ensure full Integration of persons with Disabilities into the society and to establish a National Commission for persons with Disabilities and vest it with the responsibility for their Education, Health Care, Protection of their Social Economic Civil Rights 2015 (SB. 22), the entire Senate Leadership and Distinguished Senators from both the ruling party (APC) and the opposition party (PDP) for all their meaningful contributions.
Nigerians are looking up to you to help make the country a better place, and we hope much more will be achieved in the 8th Senate come 2016.
Abang Dove writes from Abuja and she tweets with the handle @abangdove