OPINION: Senator Ndume’s Gains of Legislative Activism by Barnabas Chibok

OPINION: Senator Ndume’s Gains of Legislative Activism by Barnabas Chibok

Editor's note: Barnabas Chibok, a public affairs commentator based in Abuja, writes on the gains of Senator Mohammed Aliyu Ndume, saying his record of achievements has remained unparalleled in Borno state and the northeast by extension.

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I came across an interview by Senator Rufai Hanga, the pioneer chairman of CPC, in Daily Trust of 18th July 2021 where he wrote off the current members of the National Assembly as self-centered politicians. When asked to assess the performance of the legislators, Senator Hanga who was also in the House of Representatives said:

“We have the worst senators and Reps members in the history of the world. They have no conscience. They are after what they will get for their pocket.”

A lot of people might to tempted to believe what Senator Hanga said going by some of the things happening in the polity but for some of us who are tracking the performance of our representatives in the National Assembly, we will be quick to discountenance the generalization by the senior politicians.

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There in the Senate, we have a member from southern Borno in the person of Senator Mohammed Aliyu Ndume, whose record of achievements has remained unparalleled in Borno state and the northeast by extension.

Senator Ndume
Senator Ndume hailed for his consistency in delivering the dividends of democracy to his constituents. Photo credit: Henry Chukwuedo/AFP
Source: Getty Images

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This is one senator, who was given little chance by some of his colleagues in politics yet his record of service as a politician and a legislator is unmatched in Borno state and beyond.

His unquenchable desire to serve his people saw him traverse from one political party to the other but because of his connection with people, he always trounced his opponents and traducers and emerged victoriously.

Senator Ndume’s attempt to become the Senate President of the 9th Senate was undermined by even his colleagues from Borno state simply because of envy and mischief but that did not discourage him from putting his best for the social and economic well-being of his people.

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His was a story from grass to grace having risen from a humble background and through a dint of hard work, he was able to attain prominence and excelled in serving his people.

Distinguished Senator Ndume who has been representing the people of Borno South since June 2011, has been in the National Assembly as one of the 469 federal lawmakers since June 2003.

He got elected into the House of Representatives in the 2003 general election as the federal lawmaker representing Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency on the platform of the now-defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

Ndume was re-elected into the House in 2007 and emerged as a minority leader on quality and responsive representation.

In 2011, his level of representation was elevated by his constituents who elected him as senator for the Borno south senatorial district on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP). He had to change political party because he was clearly a threat to the ambition of some political leaders in Borno who denied him the opportunity to contest on the platform of the ANPP. After he was elected a senator of the republic, he went ahead as served as chairman of, Senate committee on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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He got re-elected into the Senate in 2015 on the platform of the now ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and served as Senate Leader from June 2015 to January 2017.

As a vibrant lawmaker, Senator Ndume has always been in the category of assertive and very active legislators in terms of motions and bills sponsorships.

One of such he did in the 7th Senate (2011- 2015), was the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2014 which enabled Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), to vote in the 2015 general elections.

In the 8th Senate alone (2015 to 2019), Senator Ndume sponsored a total of 74 bills, many of which were passed by both chambers of the National Assembly and transmitted for presidential assent.

One of such bills was the North East Development Commission (Est, etc) Bill 2015, which was passed, transmitted, and assented to by Mr. President.

Some of the other bills sponsored by him during the 8th Senate and passed for third reading, were Nigerian Peace Corps (Est) Bill 2015, Federal Capital Territory District Courts (Est, etc) 2016, Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act, 2010 (Amendment) Bill 2016, Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill 2016, National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILDS) Act (Amendment) Bill 2016, Federal College of Education Gworza (Est, etc) Bill 2018, etc.

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In the present 9th Senate, legislative activism known with Senator Ndume has not waned in any way in terms of contribution on the floor of the Senate or far-reaching decisions and contributions at committee levels.

A very good example of such legislative activism is the facilitation of over N800billion as the supplementary budget for the military to strengthen its platforms in the fight against insurgency, armed banditry, kidnapping, etc. As chairman, Senate committee on the army.

In bills sponsorships, he has sponsored close to about 30 bills in the current 9th Senate, some of which were the ones passed in the 8th Senate but not assented to by the president. The Nigerian Peace Corps Bill, Federal College of Education Gworza, etc, fall into this category.

The bill for legal backing for the Nigerian Army University in Biu, Borno state, was also sponsored by him and many development-driven ones in and outside Borno state.

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Senator Ndume will continue to be honoured and revered by his constituents because of the quality representation in the Senate. He is a trailblazer and a mobilizer and I will recommend him to our representatives in the National Assembly to understudy Ndume as a case study in terms of what it takes to serve the people through the National Assembly.

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