Nigerian Senate President Bukola Saraki in his acceptance speech at the inauguration of senators at the National Assembly on June 9, Tuesday promised to protect the independence of the legislature.
He said it will be his responsibility to defend the independence of the National Assembly in the overall interest of democracy.
Saraki thanked his colleagues for electing him as their leader. He also hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for remaining steadfast in his defence of the right to choose its own leadership.
His words: “I am most honoured and privileged to be elected to serve as President of the Senate. I accept with humility and respect the honour you have conferred upon me today,” Mr. Saraki said.
“We have today demonstrated that even though we may belong to different parties, we are ultimately united by our common desire to entrench democracy and allow its principle guide our conducts.
“The change that our people voted for is a change from a life of poverty, misery to a life of prosperity, happiness, security and comfort, accountability and respect for democracy.
“This is a change that all of us in the National Assembly must strive to justify. Nigerians want to see a proactive National Assembly.”
Former Kwara state governor added that the quest for autonomy must not lead people into pursuing adverse relations with other arms of government.
He said: “My dear distinguished colleagues, we are entering at a time when a lot is being expected of us.
“Nigerians expect that the new senate must make laws that will reform the oil sector, the security systems, diversify our economy, create jobs and make doing business in Nigeria more competitive.
“In the coming days, we shall be converging to hammer out an agenda that will help us focus and deliver on the minimum expectations.”
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Newly elected Senate President also sought support and cooperation from senators, and asked members to be united against challenges facing Nigeria.
“I have inherited from my predecessor a great landmark.
“May the future generation of citizens look upon the 8th National Assembly as a true assembly of our people’s representatives who did their best in the service of our nation.
“I congratulate ourselves for this great day and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of our great Nation,” Saraki concluded.
The senate postponed to June 10, Wednesday. The legislators proceeded to take pictures at the lobby with their families and friends.
The emergence of Saraki as new Senate President caused confusion among the leaders of the ruling party. The election held when the majority of APC members were waiting for the meeting with President Buhari at the International Conference Center in Abuja.