The former Senate Leader and the chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba who recently emerged the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Cross River Central Senatorial District has already started setting agenda for the next Senate (The 9th Senate) that would help President Muhammadu Buhari actualize his mission and goals for Nigeria’s development which the current Senate has failed to do.
President Muhammadu Buhari also acknowledged this challenge in February at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) when he declared that the frosty relationship between the Executive and the National Assembly was, in part, responsible for the slowing down of governance.
The President also agreed that these frosty relationship had made it difficult for the government to meet the expectations of Nigerians.
Speaking to journalists recently, the former lawmaker expressed frustration on the performance of the present Senate, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba said Nigeria needs another kind of National Assembly that will lift the country up.
He said that today’s National Assembly was confrontational and working at cross-purposes with the executive arm, thus causing the country to suffer.
He said, “As our party contemplates another term, the success of the President depends on the kind of National Assembly he has. To achieve great success, we need another kind of National Assembly that will give the President support and that is why I am out for the race.”
He stressed that when he was in the Senate, the Senators inspected projects everywhere in the country.
“When I was in the Senate, we were always going round inspecting projects, do we still inspect projects?” he asked.
“I was in the Senate for three terms, out of those three terms, I was in leadership position, first as Deputy Senate Leader and then as Senate Leader.
“I was in the leadership under the Senate Presidency of Senator David Mark, there wasn’t a scandal, no rancour that became public and at some points, in the history of this country and the Senate, the Senate had to provide the needed stability in the country.
“Remember, especially when late President Yar’Adua was ill and was absent from the office, we were in a precipice of a major constitutional crisis, it was the Senate that protected us, it was the Senate that held the balance, historically, that is the role of the Senate.
“The Senate is supposed to hold the balance for the country. When the country is in crisis, the Senate comes to the rescue.
“I think that to move the nation forward, the legislature and executives must work out a system of promoting the interest of the nation.”
He said that the Presidential system of government is designed with inbuilt conflict, adding that the conflict triggers the checks and balances and to see to the end of crisis in the National Assembly, the country needs only dialogue, constant dialogue and finding ways around the problem.
The former Senator said the Senate must know when to work with the executive. “Members of the legislatures were sponsored by political parties and one of the reasons we had stability in the eight years of David Mark was that caucuses were very strong.”
“PDP was in the majority in the Assembly, we used to have PDP caucuses meeting twice a month, it was a fixture in our calendar and the meeting was held in the Senate leader’s house, the only person who didn’t attend it was the Senate President because he ought to be seen as neutral.
“We used to have a very strong Cross River State National Assembly caucuses that met regularly, discussing Cross River State matters, Cross River interest and strategies to protect her, we identified interest and at some points, governors attended, I remember Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke attended a few times. Caucuses is a key in my view.”
Ndoma-Egba who is passionate about the success of President Muhammadu Buhari and has committed to going to the Senate in 2019 to push the
agenda of Mr President may well be on his way to the Red Chambers that he left in 2015 given his victory at the APC primary election in his senatorial district.
At the recent senatorial primary of APC in Cross River Central Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, clinched the senatorial ticket of the party.
The former Senate Leader, scored 50,729 votes to beat Prof Oka Martins, who had 19, 349 votes. Other contestants Anderson Rickets and Henry Ayuk scored 302 and 252 respectively.
Reacting to his victory, Ndoma-Egba said: “I still believe that the highest honour any group of people can give to anybody is to ask that the person represents them in an elective capacity. For me, it is an honour to once again represent my people and it is a challenge for me to even do better than I had done in the past.” “I will do it with more energy, urgency and zeal. I have a number of bills that were not passed into law and I will pursue them to their logical end. I will complete all uncompleted projects like the Iruan Dam, the Ikom Specialist Hospitals and others. I will like to see to the conclusion of those projects, so my priority will be finishing every unfinished business.”
Senator Ndoma-Egba, if he wins in the 2019 general elections would be one of the ranking Senators that would shape the agenda of the 9th Senate. The chairman of NDDC Board has already made it clear that one of the things he must do as a member of the 9th Senate is to ensure that the Senate synergize with the executive for a better President Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2019.
And since the APC is said to have zoned the Senate Presidency to the South-South in 2019, the former Senate Leader has been tipped to be among the top contenders for the position. Aside being a ranking Senator and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) he has had intimidating records the various times he had been in the Senate.
– Uwadima is an editorial staff of LEADERSHIP Newspapers
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