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Senate begins second session, vows to expose corruption

By Henry Umoru
ABUJA — THE Senate, yesterday, resumed for the second session of the 7th Senate with a vow to expose corruption in all its ramifications, just as it said it would not be cajoled into slumber or succumb to blackmail in bringing to the public those who must have looted the nation’s treasury.

The Senate also said it would be on the neck of the executive, ministries, departments and other agencies of government on effective and efficient implementation of Appropriation Act.

Addressing Senators, yesterday, Senate President David Mark, who promised that the upper chamber would ensure that there was good administration, stressed that Nigerians expected much from the National Assembly and they must not be disappointed.

According to him, “we will not relent in carrying out our oversight responsibilities. We must continue to apply the same energy exerted in passing budgets to our oversight functions. Our nation is in dire need of infrastructural renewal and urgent interventions in various critical sectors.

“Our people are in dire need of democracy dividends. And we can only make their dreams come true by the diligent implementation of the Appropriation Act. All standing committees must, therefore, work hard to realise this goal.

“This Senate will continue to work to expose corruption and poor administration in all areas of our national life. This is our constitutional duty. We must not allow ourselves to be cajoled into slumber or succumb to blackmail in the discharge of our duties. We will do all we can to uphold transparency and integrity in governance.

Mark, who reiterated that the Senators during the second session review the 1999 constitution with a view to addressing those grey areas, said deformities such as insecurity, endemic corruption, poor governance, dysfunctional and comatose local government system would then be corrected.

He said: “May I also emphasise that constitution amendment remains one of our major tasks.”

Bombings, struggle between light and darkness

Mark who described the present bombings by members of the Boko Haram sect leading to massive deaths and wanton destruction of property as struggle between light and darkness, said: “Let me state at this point that this Senate is very mindful of the increasing security challenges facing the nation. The workers of evil have continued in the ignominious waste of lives and property through acts of terrorism and violent crimes.

“As I mentioned sometime last year, I still believe that this is a struggle between light and darkness.”

Let me assure Nigerians that good conscience, dialogue, understanding, tolerance and pragmatic security approaches are what we require to triumph over the forces of darkness.”

To strengthen  electoral process

Promising to strengthen the electoral process, Senator Mark said, ‘’Permit me to also emphasise that we will work to strengthen our electoral processes. There is no doubt that the Sixth National Assembly made its mark in electoral reforms which resulted in the locally and internationally acknowledged improvements in the 2011 general election. However, it is clear that more work needs to be done. We will work to ensure that the loopholes in our electoral laws and processes which unscrupulous Nigerians exploit to undermine the collective will of the electorate are plugged.”


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