NEWS DIGEST – Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani says he will hit the ground running in the 9th Senate by sponsoring bills and motions that will impact meaningfully on the lives of Nigerians.
Nnamani, a former Enugu State Governor, gave the assurance while briefing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The lawmaker, who is also a medical doctor, said his focus would be on legislations aimed at repositioning the country’s health sector.
He further said he would be actively involved in the debate in other areas including electoral reform, infrastructure, aviation and human rights.
Other areas of interest, according to him, are female genital mutilation, VVF, maternity and paternity leave.
“I have a social burden for Nigeria and there is an urgent need for this giant of Africa to wake up because it has contributed immensely to the peace and development of other African countries.
“I want to be part of a process that will debate on the project Nigeria and to ensure my constituents get what they deserve as an integral part of this country.
“I am interested in the indigent, the debate on how to tackle duplication of resources as well as statistics on birth and death because of the importance of data to national development,” he said.
“On the Southeast Development Commission, my role will be to resuscitate it. We are going to look for the bill and bring it up again.
“I am surprised that the Northeast Development Commission Bill was passed without the Southeast Development Commission Bill being passed. I hope that in the future, in the Senate, what is good for the goose will also be good for the gander.
“As you pass the Northeast Bill, you also pass the Southeast Bill, if not you hold it until all of them are ready and passed together.
“Not only will this be my advocacy, it will be my responsibility to go to my colleagues, visit them one by one and appeal to them to ensure equity and fairness in developmental matters of this nature.
“If you look at the Senate President’s address, he called for the bipartisan spirit to continue.
“He said there is no party, no APC and no PDP. So I will speak to their bipartisan conscience for us to work together,” he said.
On the inauguration of the 9th senate and emergence of the presiding officers, Nnamani said there was no cause for worry, adding that he believed there would be a vibrant senate.
He stressed that he, “had opportunity of studying closely the new President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and I have done a review of his background.
“He has a PhD in Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System from a UK university.”
“That shows he is an academic and an intellectual who has information.
I have also had cause to work with him.
“I was in the senate for four years. I believe he was the Chairman, Public Accounts Committee at that time. I have also had opportunity to interact with him and I found him a gentleman.
“He comes across as an intellectual and a man in total control of his temperament. So I am looking forward to working with him; he certainly has my support and I believe he is going to steer the senate with listening ears,” he said.
On fears of the Legislature being subservient to the Executive, the lawmaker said he believed that the two arms of government were co-dependent.
He noted that as long as both wished each other well and as long as the focus was Nigeria, there would be no unnecessary altercation.
According to him, the senate can assert itself without confronting the executive or jeopardising the goals of discipline.
“I believe that Sen. Ahmad Lawan is going to find a meeting point between the level of independence and the level of frustrating the Executive. But the two go together.
“When a party gets elected into government, if the party is in control of the Executive and Legislature, it means that both arms will work together”.
The former governor noted that there was no dividing line, stressing government was one.
He called for more collaboration, particularly with the opposition rather than confrontation, adding that they should be able to convince the opposition to buy into their plan.
Nnamani is a medical doctor and governor of Enugu state from 1999 to 2007. He was also the PDP senator for Enugu East Senatorial District from 2007 to 2011. (NAN)