Don’t allow desperation for re-election to overshadow governance-Saraki begs politicians
Senate President Bukola Saraki
London, Jan. 16, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday urged all political leaders in the country to bury their desperation for re-election as 2019 approaches and concentrate on providing leadership for the people.
Speaking at the opening session of the Senate after its 2017 end of the year break, Saraki said it is imperative for every public office holder in the country to remain committed to delivering good governance to the people by not allowing preparations towards the 2019 general elections overshadow their responsibility.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has just released the timetable for the 2019 general elections and the fear has arisen that public office holders might jettison governance in the quest to prepare for re-election.
But Saraki said on Tuesday that it would be a high level of insensitivity to the needs of the people if elected and appointed office holders allow partisan politics to override governance.
He admitted that the government has just this year to provide good governance to the people before electioneering commences next year, noting that doing otherwise will be act of injustice to the people.
“Let us not be caught in the political fray before due season. To each and everything under the sun, its own time. This is Nigeria’s time. Let us devote ourselves to her service.
“It is therefore imperative that we speed up consideration on the various bills on which legislative work remains outstanding – particularly economic bills. Calling for similar attention are the other parts of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) related bills still to be passed, namely: the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and the Petroleum Host Community Bill.
“We must not allow the upcoming 2019 elections to overshadow our work for the people that elected us or distract us from that which we are mandated to do by the constitution and the trust reposed in us by the people.
“This is my appeal: it is too early for 2019 politicking to override the legislative agenda and the larger work of governance. We have begun a good thing with the economic core of our agenda; let us see it to its proper conclusion.
“It would be most insensitive to the needs of the people of this country if we were to do otherwise. I am directing this appeal not only to us in the chamber but to the National Assembly as a whole, as well as to the Executive and indeed all political actors,” he said.
Speaking on the series of crisis in the country, the senate President said that the National Assembly was still pained by the unfortunate situation of fuel scarcity that plagued the country towards the end of last year, just as he condemned the needless loss of lives in many parts of country through violent attacks.
He commended the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) and the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Security for cutting short their recess to respond to the twin grave issues of national concern.
On fuel scarcity, Saraki said: “We seek the cooperation and understanding of Nigerians as we try to get to the bottom of this issue.
“My own estimation of the fuel scarcity phenomenon is that it is man-made. We thought we had left the problem of fuel queues firmly in the past in this country, but sadly, that appears not to be the case.
“In any event, there is a problem, and it must be solved. We await the findings of the Investigative Panel on fuel scarcity, firm in our resolve that whoever is responsible must pay the price for visiting this needless hardship upon our people.