As the year 2019 winds down to a close, it is only natural to look back on past events or situations that got people talking.
In the Nigerian Senate, the year 2019 was an eventful year. The upper chamber recorded some historic moments that got everyone talking.
In this piece, Legit.ng lists 5 senators that were in the middle of major controversies in the year under review.
1. Senator Sani Musa
The billionaire businessman turned politician got elected into the Nigerian Senate in rather controversial circumstances after his party initially denied him the ticket in the primary elections. Having settled into the red chamber as a first-timer, one would have expected Senator Musa to contribute positively to nation-building with positive bills. But, alas, the senator's plan was to muzzle Nigerians, stifle free speech and gag his fellow countrymen through an obnoxious social media bill. He quickly became a popular figure among Nigerians, but to his detriment, in a negative way.
2. Senator Sabi Abdullahi
He was at some point the spokesman of the 8th Senate. An uninspiring character. Abdullahi represents Niger North senatorial district and is the current deputy chief whip of the Senate. He sponsored the infamous hate speech bill. To make it worse, he proposed the death punishment on those who violated the law. How such a man got to the highest legislative body in the country in 2019 with such archaic ideas is an indictment on the Nigerian leadership class. Senator Abdullahi will go down in history as one lawmaker who came to the Senate to embarrass himself.
3. Senator Dino Melaye
Although he is no more a member of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Dino Melaye succeded in entertaining Nigerians as usual before he lost out in a fiercely contested rerun election. Loud, abrasive and quite wordy, Melaye could pass for a trade union leader instead of a distinguished senator. His parting shots at the valedictory session of the 8th Senate will remain evergreen. From throwing jabs to his colleagues Ovie Omo-Agege and Godswill Akpabio to paying homage to his friend and leader, Abubakar Bukola Saraki. Dino is certainly a character that kept Nigerians talking in 2019.
4. Senator Elisha Abbo
The Adamawa-born politician started his journey to the Senate on a rather distasteful note. Weeks after the Senate settled down for business, a video of Abbo assaulting a nursing mother surfaced on the internet. Abbo who is one of the youngest senators in the 9th Assembly, thoroughly embarrassed himself and the sacred institution he represents. What followed after the video went viral, was at best only fit for comedy shows. First, the senator vehemently denied the authenticity of the video. When he realised he couldn't sustain the lie, he apologised to Nigerians in a hurriedly organised press conference. While some Nigerians began to canvass for him to be forgiven, Abbo showed up in court pleading not guilty.
5. Senator Jibrin Isah Echocho
The Igala-born senator was largely anonymous during the year under review. While he did not see the need to remain in the background as he has always done, remains a mystery. Instead, the senator representing Kogi East senatorial district displayed insensitivity by reducing the death of Mrs Salome Abu, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Women Leader in his state as a subject of politicking. At a time the nation was shell-shocked over the brutal murder of a female politician, Echocho chose to play politics. He exonerated the perpetrators, saying that it was a retaliatory attack that left two others critically injured too. According to him, the attack that claimed the life of Salome Abu was a retaliatory attack on APC. That the senator made such comments at a time the nation was mourning shows that Nigeria seriously lacks the right leaders in the right places.
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