OrderPaperToday – While it is good omen for leadership recruitment in the political space for some incumbent senators to vie for gubernatorial positions, it is necessary to attempt an evaluation of their performance thus far in the red chamber.
OrderPaperNG examines seven senators in this category:
Abdulaziz Nyako (Adamawa Central, ADC)
Sen. Nyako is famous for championing the NotTooYoungToRun bill in the red chamber. He serves as chairman, senate committee on special duties which was seized with the responsibility to work on important bills like the North East Development Commission and National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.
He was however brought to disrepute due to an allegation of breaching the privilege of a member of the House of Representatives, Adamu Kamale, during a visit to affected constituencies ravaged by the activities of Boko Haram in Adamawa State.
Nyako is currently enmeshed in a case of money laundering alongside his father, the immediate past governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako. They were both arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 37 counts involving an alleged diversion of N29,099,430,879.92 belonging to the state government.
The case is however pending at the court following the death of the presiding judge and two others who were crucial to the prosecution of this case.
Mr. Nyako has been cleared to contest as the gubernatorial candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) by INEC.
John Enoh (APC, Cross Rivers Central)
Enoh has been a vibrant lawmaker, sponsoring several motions such as the worrisome influx of refugees from neighboring countries into Cross River; investigation into unremitted stamp duty revenue running into trillions of naira; and the clashes between communities in his state and Ebonyi; among others.
The committee on finance he chairs remains a pivotal one, considering finances of the country with investigative hearings to shape the economy on constituency projects (budgetary provision bill), tax incentive management bill and Companies Income Tax (amendment) bill.
Based on the report of his committee, the federal government was asked to suspend the implementation of the excise tariff increment on beverages and tobacco products to save local distillers from extinction.
The following bills are crested to his name: Foreign Exchange bill to propose a new currency law that will give the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) legal powers to set exchange rates, State of Emergency powers bill, Establishment of Federal Polytechnic Ikom, and a bill to provide for effective administration, management and control of payment, clearing& settlement processes in the country.
During his legislative sojourn, precisely in 2017, Senator Enoh exited the PDP for the APC, probably to fulfill his gubernatorial ambition.
Sonny Ogbuoji (APC, Ebonyi South)
Ogbuoji is mainly prominent for a motion urging the red chamber to investigate the reinstatement of Danjuma Ibrahim, the Police officer who reportedly spearheaded the Apo 6 killings in the Federal Capital Territory and the rowdy session he caused in an indecisive and dramatic bid to defect from the PDP to APC.
He is vice chairman, committee on appropriation and the only bill to his name is the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service bill.
He is the APC governorship candidate for Ebonyi state.
Bayero Nafada (PDP Gombe North)
Nafada is the sponsor of the controversial Nigerian Peace Corps bill which was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He is currently serving as the chairman committee on Interior and supported a motion to address the problem of rehabilitating prison inmates through agricultural training programmes. He co-sponsored Senator Enoh’s motion on unremitted stamp duty revenue running into trillions of naira.
He was instrumental in spotting loopholes in the personnel cost of Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority’s 2017 budget.
Nafada once served as the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. He got elected in 2015 under the platform of the APC but defected to PDP last year. He will be contesting with other gubernatorial candidates in Gombe state under the platform of the PDP.
Hope Uzodinma (APC, Imo West)
Uzodinma’s active duties in the committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs may cover for his scanty legislative contributions in terms of bills. However, two bills- the Nigerian Customs Service Commission bill and an Establishment bill for Federal College of Education, Omuma, Imo state- stand to his credit.
His committee helped to plug the leakages from the internal revenue vaults of the Nigeria Customs Service. The committee commenced a probe of Customs over alleged N30 trillion loss of revenue which later implicated banks and Dana group alongside 12 other companies.
Other outstanding investigations conducted by his committee border on the illegal importation of 661 sophisticated weapons into the country, allegations that Samsung and other foreign companies were exploiting the country’s financial policy by pretending to import unfinished goods without any assembly plant and another N4 trillion lost to revenue leakages as a result of various infractions, abuse and non-implementation of foreign exchange forms.
The committee equally recovered the sum of N140 billion from remittances made by collection banks and 60 companies due to leakages in the Customs service.
Uzodinma also has several motions to his name. He left PDP for the APC last year and has had a tumultuous relationship with Gov Rochas Okorocha.
Mr. Kashamu is the most inactive lawmaker with no representation or contribution in the chamber and can only boast of one bill to amend the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency act. Although recognized by the electoral body, his hold on the Ogun state governorship nomination is being strongly challenged by the PDP.
Useni made the list of our bench warmers in the red chamber with little contributions– a motion to create additional rehabilitation centers due to the increasing spate of drug addiction; and a bill to establish Federal Polytechnic Langtang, Plateau state- in the senate so far. He is the PDP candidate for Plateau state governorship in next month’s elections.