Akpabio, Abbas-led N/Assembly has failed – Salihu Lukman

  • We’ve surpassed previous records – Speaker


By Saawua Terzungwe, Balarabe Alkassim  & Itodo D. Sule


A former national vice chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Mohammed Lukman, has said the 10th National Assembly, led by Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajuddeen Abbas, has failed Nigerians.

In a statement on Tuesday, Lukman noted that the 10th Assembly had failed to compel the executive arm to act in the interest of Nigerians.

However, in a separate event, the Speaker of the House, Tajuddeen Abbas, argued that with the introduction of 1,351 bills and 679 motions so far, the 10th House had surpassed the performance of previous assemblies in their first sessions since 1999. He claimed that the House had passed numerous laws that shaped the country’s economic landscape, reformed key sectors and strengthened its democratic institutions.

This is even as the deputy spokesman of the House of Representatives, Chief Philip Agbese described Lukman as a “moribund politician who has continued his quest for relevance even when it has become glaring to the discerning that he has past his expiration date of political significance.”

Lukman, who recently resigned from the ruling party, stated, “Partly because of the faint or almost complete absence of courageous voices in the National Assembly, the president and the members of the executive body of government are practically getting away with virtually every wrong decision that is injurious to the wellbeing of Nigerian citizens.

“How did we get to this abysmally low level of legislative practice whereby it can almost be said that in Nigeria, democracy equates darkness? Without going into details, a combination of many factors over the last 25 years is responsible.

“Some of the factors include the reality whereby systematically, the leadership of both chambers of the National Assembly has been downgraded to the status of appointees of the president. This was largely made possible by the fact that the party machinery or organs, which are supposed to serve as platforms for negotiations, have been weakened and also subordinated to the president.”

But reacting, Agbese said Lukman’s critic of the National Assembly was unbecoming “especially because it was not the National Assembly that refused to nominate him for a ministerial position.”

Meanwhile, speaking at the opening of the second session plenary of the House on Tuesday, Speaker Abbas said, “The National Assembly, comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives, has played a pivotal role in ensuring that the aspirations and interests of Nigerians are represented, laws are made for the peace and progress of the country, and the executive is held accountable.”

He added that the oversight activities of members of the 10th National Assembly had led to significant outcomes, including recovering misappropriated funds and rectifying administrative inefficiencies.

He, however, admitted that the “expectations of our constituents remain high, and they look up to us to address pressing issues, such as security, economy, health care, education,  and infrastructure. The gains of democracy must translate into tangible improvements in the lives of our citizens.”


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