Knocks, kudos on ex-governors elected senators


Nigeria's House of Representatives

Nigeria’s House of Representatives

Two dons on Wednesday differ on the expectations from former governors elected as senators to represent their constituents in the Ninth National Assembly.

The lecturers, professors Jonah Onuoha and Aloysius Okolie, both of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), spoke in separate interviews on Wednesday in Nsukka.

No fewer than 15 ex-governors will be in the 9th Senate which will commence sitting in June.

Onuoha see election of more former governors to senate as a welcome development and something that would boast legislative performance.

Onuoha who is also the Director, Institute of American Studies in the university, noted that the presence of more ex-governors who had acquired experience in governance would be an added advantage to the Ninth Senate.

“These governors have acquired experience and know the needs of the people.

“With their wealth of experience they are in a better position to sponsor bills that will address the needs of the people in their states since they have first hand information about them.

“Also with their connections as former governors they will use it to attract quality democracy dividends to their districts.

“To me, I see the election of more former governors into the red chamber as a welcome development, as well as a boost to the 9th Senate,” he said.

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The director said he did not subscribe to opinion in some quarters that the senate had become a retirement home for former governors as well as a shelter to avoid harassment from the EFCC.

For Okolie, majority of these former governors were going to senate just to remain politically relevant and not to give quality representation to their people.

“These former governors are going to senate just to remain politically relevant because some of them did not perform very well in their states, and that will not change in the senate.

“Some of these governors in the 8th Senate did not sponsored any bill or done anything extra-ordinary,” he said.

The former Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNN chapter, alleged that some of these former governors were rushing to the senate to avoid harassment from EFCC.

“Some of these governors are going to senate as retirement home as well as a shelter against the harassment of EFCC.

“Some of these governors were in government for eight years and could have allowed others to represent the district.

“They have piloted affairs of their states, any development they did not bring to their people as governors , I doubt if they can do that as senators,” he said.

Former governors elected to serve in the 9th Senate include two ex-governors of Abia, Chief Orji Kalu and his successor, Theodore Orji, incumbent governor of Borno, Kashim Shettima, Dr Sam Egwu of Ebonyi, among others.

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