Sulieman Nazif: Nigeria’s Indispensable Legislator

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Senator Suleiman Mohammed Nazif is one of the most formidable legislators in the National Assembly. His understanding of law making, its pragmatism and practice, makes him a force for both today and the future, PEMBI DAVID-STEPHEN writes.

With the mind that Nigeria’s best days are still to come but our best work is yet to be done, Senator Suleiman Mohammed Nazif (APC, Bauchi North), began working outside the box to make everyone understand that only their unstoppable people power could affect real change. He argues that Nigerians have the capacity to lift the life of our own land as well as lead the African continent to a safer and more hopeful future. Saying that doing so requires equal measures of strength, vision, and resolve, embodied in a leadership that graphs both the breath of our potential and the great legacy of our past.

Nazif, 46, embodies the youth who constitute the majority of Nigerian society-an engineer who excelled in his chosen profession and is now a success story but, unlike many of his generation, has chosen to be a politician in no small part to redeem that promise for a great Nigeria. His guiding principles include a healthy regard for who those principles might differ from his own. The most successful members of the National Assembly are, paradoxically, those who never forgot where they came from, who cling to values bred into them by family, faith and community. He is a native of Katagum, a town in Gamawa local government area of Bauchi State that exemplifies perseverance, courage and hope while maintaining its own unique style and rhythm. Nazif displays all these qualities. He is an asset in this political dispensation as he is a well sought after ally by political class.

To watch  Nazif at plenary in the Senate is to see a portrait of grace, intellect and determination. His family believes that social justice is a cause worth fighting for. And Nazif has dedicated his abilities to progressive causes. He  is a tenacious organiser, talented at both inside manoeuvring and outside mobilization-he always wins. He legislates with diplomacy and makes his case with facts, not hyperbole. That is what everyone saw when he was member, federal House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007; that was what the nation saw when he served as senator between 2007 and 2011 and that’s what everyone appreciates as he serves a distinguished senator now.

Partly because of the respect legislators have for Nazif, being a senator is no longer a preexisting condition. He’s now leading the charge against a comprehensive and radical change of the Nigerian Labour law to make life easy for the nation’s civil servants.

A man of unwavering disposition, Nazif is popular among the down-trodden because wherever he goes, he promotes people-oriented programmes and the NASS is the better for it. As a deliberate politician, he is totally exemplary and dependable. Nazif is a man of principle, action and compassion, who fights for the powerless. He, and other well-meaning Nigerian senators fought Third Term Agenda and stood for the Doctrine of Necessity. Nazif single-handily brought a new political party Action Congress, to Bauchi State and won election to the senate in 2007.  He is certainly in the good side of history.

Nazif is currently Senate Committee chairman on Employment, Labour and Productivity. He has sponsored Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund Act amendment bill, National Commission for Conciliation and Arbitration bill, Ministerial Nominees Portfolios bill, NSITF bill and Labour Institution bill, among others. He co-sponsored Apapa Port Gridlock bill, Collapse of Road Infrastructure in Nigeria, Resuscitation of Collapsed Industries bill, Incessant Kano Market Infernos Sabon-Gari bill and Sexual Harassment bill among others.These bills will be remembered long after his time in the senate, because he has delivered to the nation a better understanding of legislation, particularly with the crucial insight that being at the senate is not a tea party.

Now a distinguished senator, Nazif is a brilliant intellect, a great conversationalist, and because his work goes on challenging us to rethink our ideas, he will always be a conversationalist wherever he goes. Of course, he makes reasonable contributions to debates in plenary. He is a committed democrat with 24 years in politics, 16 years as a political elective officeholder (1999 to date).

Nazif has carried out the Gamawa Erosion Control Project and provided more than 396 Boreholes across 116 wards and distributed hand-pumps to farmers of his constituency. He also built a Clinic in Lodiyo and supplied drugs for four years.

Nazif equally built classrooms in Dogon Jeji and another classroom in Galdimari, all in Jama’are and contributed in the completion of Zaki-Gamawa road construction project as constituency projects. Nazif was responsible for the completion of Azare Water Supply Scheme and also contributed in reticulation system of Azare water supply.

He has made provisions of 116 additional boreholes for the 116 wards to of his constituency, to be located at market places. There are also hospitals in Gamawa, Katagum, Shira, Jama’are, Zaki, Giade, Itas/Gadau, to be located at the headquarters of the local government areas.  Nazif, also made provisions for women empowerment, and provision of exercise books for schools in Bauchi North. Also, more than 50 people were trained in various trades for empowerment.

Armed with a Bachelor of Engeering and Water Environment degree  of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and a Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the same institution.  Nazif has served as president of All Nigeria Youth Federation and is the leader, members of the National Assembly from Bauchi State , he is a two time member, Constitutional Review Committee, member, Intervention on Electricity Tariff Increase and  member, Committee on Interface with Stakeholders on unjust termination of contract staff of Shell E&P. Nazif holds several honorary doctoral degrees from reputable institutions within and outside the country. Fellow, Professional Institute of Nigeria (FPIN), Fellow, International Institute of Administrative Management(FIIAM), Nazif is member, Nigerian Society of Engineers. A proud father of lovely children, Nazif is a devoted husband and a gracious company. But make no mistake: his resolve is steadfast.


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