The 8th Senate, presided over by Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, adjourned sine die after a valedictory session which marked the last official assignment of the 8th Senate.
There were mixed feelings on at the valedictory session when senators took turns to appraise their performance for the past four years.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Upper Chamber, which for some time has been scanty in attendance after the 2019 general elections, was packed full with lawmakers taken turns to speak on their experiences since 2015 when the Senate was inaugurated.
Sen. Magnus Abe (APC-Rivers), commended his colleagues for working tirelessly in preserving the Senate as an institution.
He said it was the desire to serve Nigeria that brought us here. We preserved this institution for others to come and make their contribution.
“We may not have served perfectly but we represented the highest standard of integrity. May God bless us all,” he said.
Also speaking, Sen. Shehu Sani said lawmakers were not elected to only represent their constituents, but also to protect the interest of the country at large.
He pointed out that lawmakers had a duty to define their role in history by defending the institution of the national assembly.
He said that one thing every lawmaker ought to take note of was to serve with honour and leave with more honour and also by standing for the truth irrespective of religious, ethnic affiliation or party leaning.
“The national assembly is not an agency or a ministry, but an institution created to protect Nigerians.
“As a parliament, it is a calling. We are not just here to represent the people, but to stand for issues that are germane,” he said.
On the performance of the 8th Senate, Sani said, there was no doubt it passed through turbulence, noting that “every national assembly has its challenges.
“This country is faced with problems, but as an institution, we must work together to address the challenges, but we cannot do so with a divided house. The survival, dignity, and honour of this institution lie in the lawmakers.
“We must also note that we are not here to be subservient to anyone, but to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Sen. Ajayi Borofice (APC-Ondo), in his comment, applauded the leadership style of the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
He also commended his colleagues for demonstrating patriotism towards protecting the interest of the country.
Said he: “Saraki has demonstrated uncommon leadership. Yes, there was turbulence but because of his dexterity, he was able to stabilise the Senate.
“No matter the perception of the public about us, we have demonstrated that we are patriots. We discussed issues of security among other critical issues.
“We worked together irrespective of our differences to get to this point and as such I thank you all for your support.”
Also speaking, Sen. Bassey Akpan (PDP-Akwa Ibom), said he had a memorable time in the 8th Senate, noting that we were leaving a refined and better person.
He commended Saraki for his exemplary leadership, saying, ” your leadership is an exemplary one and with that, the 8th Senate has a place in history.
“I learned so much from my colleagues and to my constituents, your mandate will be defended as I return to the 9th Senate.”
The lawmaker said the 9th Senate had a lot to learn from the 8th senate, adding that it stood for Nigeria and defended its course.