Ekweremadu: The Bond Of Bipartisanship In The 8th Assembly

“The emergence of independent, leaderships of Senate and House of Representatives has nailed the coffin of political godfathers and mothers—who will want to teleguide the national assignments of our elected lawmakers from their bedrooms.” -Nwobodo

“The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party.” —John Caldwell

The above quote exemplified the kind of political matrix, horse trading and permutation that led to the historic emergence of a bipartisan leadership of the —especially the Red Chamber, where the unalloyed support of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, , led to the enthronement of Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki of the All Progressives Party, , as Senate against all odds placed on his way by the leadership of the ruling party, APC.

For years to come, political analysts and social commentators will dispense a lot of intellectual energy introspecting on the political tsunami that led to the formation of a bipartisan Senate in the 8th National Assembly.

The human bond that cemented this is no other person than the distinguished , and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament. got 54 out of the 74votes cast to emerge as Deputy Senate President for the unprecedented three consecutive terms in the nation’s political history. This is obviously not as a result of his party affliction or ethnic stock but the bipartisan tendency that characterised the activities of the “legislative Michelangelo” in the upper chamber since his political voyage began in the Red Chamber in 2003.

This dexterity manifested in the stability of the Senate witnessed since 2007 as a result of impeccable synergy that coexisted between the honourable leader of the Senate and the longest serving Senator in the nation’s history, the immediate past Senate President, David Mark and his erstwhile deputy, Senator Ekweremadu.

The emergence of the has entrenched independence of the Legislature in the polity; it will also ensure effective checks and balances between the Executive arm of government and the Legislature, which is the hallmark of true democracy.

The momentous return of Senator Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President should not be seen as a ploy by the opposition PDP to hijack the 8th National Assembly, but the required synergy amongst the two leading political parties in the upper chamber to legislate effectively without rancour.

The experience and bipartisan character of Senator Ekweremadu will help the newly elected Senate President, to sustain the and at the same time promote bipartisan and pro-masses bills that will assist in eliminating myriad of challenges facing the Nigerian nation.

Having served for eight years as Deputy Senate President and three years as Speaker of ECOWAS parliament, Senator Ekweremadu’s irrefutable record of performance will rub off on the current Senate President to enable him skip all the banana peels that will be thrown into the red chamber by his adversaries—taken into consideration the horse trading and intrigues that led to his emergence as Senate President.

With the highly experienced Ekweremadu as his deputy, Senate President, Bukola Saraki can surely sleep with his eyes closed—it will take a miracle for the current leadership of the 8th National Assembly not to succeed and outperform its predecessors.

Geo-political balancing

The third coming of Senator Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President did not occur as a result of his of origin and geo-political consideration, but was made possible by his diligence and excellence, legislative prowess, political sagacity, sportsmanship and bipartisan traits he exhibited on the floor of red chamber when discharging his legislative duties.

His emergence as Deputy Senate President for the 8th National Assembly has balanced the hitherto lopsided political geometrics in powering sharing amongst the geo-political zones that constitute the nation’s political topography, which was fallout of the outcome of the last general elections—where the now opposition party, PDP cleared all the National Assembly seats that were available for grabs during the general elections in the zone.

The ruling APC as a result of the excruciating defeat suffered by the party in the zones during the just concluded general elections, intended to scheme out the South-South and South-East geo-political zones, but the recent positive development in the National Assembly which transcended into the emergence of bipartisan leadership of 8th Senatehas started correcting this abnormal zoning formula displayed by the APC—which did not consider the heterogeneous configuration of Nigeria.

The 8th National Assembly will be one of the most interesting in the history of Nigerian democracy. The bipartisan nature of this Assembly will be displayed in day-day functions of legislators—where legislators will form a synergy across party lines in performing their national duties. Nigerians will witness scenarios where legislators from a political party will form alliance with legislators from different political parties to disagree or agree with legislators of this same party affiliation.

For any meaningful bill to scale through in the two chambers in the 8th National Assembly, the inputs of lawmakers from the two majors parties must be sought to enhance a smooth passage of the bill, thereby encouraging transparency, accountability and cohesiveness amongst the lawmakers—which will ultimately position Nigeria and Nigerians as the true winners and beneficiaries of the bipartisan state of the 8th National Assembly, which was made possible by the election of an experienced and pan-Nigerian Senator, Ekweremadu—who has paid his legislative dues in the red chamber.

The emergence of independent, bipartisan leaderships of Senate and House of Representatives has nailed the coffin of political godfathers and mothers—who will want to teleguide the national assignments of our elected lawmakers from their bedrooms.

In the near future, it will help to checkmate the excesses of the majority and overbearing influence of the executive arm of the government on the legislature, at the same time create enabling environment for real governance devoid of party sentiments and interference.

Written By Nwobodo Chidiebere , a politic al analyst, wrote from Abuja.

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