20th August, 2015
Some senators on Thursday said in spite of the current six-week recess by the National Assembly, the lawmakers were engage in legislative activities.
The senators, who spoke to NAN in separate interviews in Abuja, said agitation by Nigerians that lawmakers had sat for only 15 days since inauguration was baseless.
Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, said that the National Assembly was not unmindful of the desires of Nigerians to reposition the country.
He explained that the recess would not in any way affect their commitment to their duties as lawmakers.
Ndume said that Nigerians needed not to doubt the commitment of members of the assembly, adding that each of the chambers could reconvene to attend to emergency cases while on recess, if need be.
“We have the interest of this country at heart and we are ready to set a record; though we are on recess, we will continue to work behind the scenes,” he said.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP-Abia North) said that though the six weeks recess was statutory, it was a working period for the lawmakers.
He explained that the seven weeks break earlier embarked upon by the lawmakers was to enable the All Progressives Congress (APC) to settle its problems.
Ohuabunwa added that the period was also used to prepare offices for full take-off of legislative activities. “It is unfortunate that we went on that break, and I think that was where the problem came and reason was because we needed to get this place fixed and get our arts together.
“The parliament runs a timetable and you know that parliament world over, including Nigeria, the month of August is normally our annual vacation,” he said.
He dismissed fears that the recess would slow down the process of governance, adding that the National Assembly would not hesitate to reconvene in the event of any matter of national interest. “If there is anything urgent, the Assembly would be recalled to take that emergency.
“We are going to be on working holiday; for instance, I have been called upon to represent the Senate somewhere on August 23, so you can see we are working,” he said.
On his part, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu North) said the National Assembly was only on recess from plenary.
According to him, plenary was only an aspect of our job and as such the recess should not be misconstrued.
“The Senate is working. You have come to interview me in the office and you can see I have been having meetings.
“We are on recess for only plenary and not from other activities. Yesterday, I attended the meeting of the Ad hoc Committee on Aviation to prepare a template on issues in the sector.
“If I am on vacation you will not see me here. I am working and I will still be here tomorrow.
“People should not mistake plenary for other activities. It is not only when Senate sits that we work,” he said.
The lawmaker said it was wrong for Nigerians to assume that they were not working enough, and however, assured that the National Assembly would not relent in its effort to deliver the dividends of democracy.