It is no longer news that the 8th Senate under the leadership of Senate President Bukola Saraki has achieved feats that surpass its antecedents. The Senate can boast of passing 125 bills in the first half of its tenure, kickstarting the constitutional amendment process, among other things.
In a recent interview, Saraki shared the secret to the success of the 8th senate. He attributed what he describes as an “unprecedented success” to a document he calls “a legislative agenda”.
“Our agenda is that the senate will be addressing the economy – that we championed made-in-Nigeria was not by chance; it was part of our agenda.
We said to ourselves, what can make Nigeria’s economy grow, people are spending so much on importation, why don’t we try and save that.
Saraki added, “It is because we have been focused, determined and strong-willed and not distracted. Sometimes, I see that all the noise is distraction.
I will humbly say that I have been able to win the support of all my colleagues, I have been able to win their confidence, because the way I occupied leadership is that it is `we’, not `me’.
That is why many people misunderstand this place and say it is the President of the Senate that has done that, but most of the things are done collectively.
I am just first among equals. It is not like the executive where you can fire a minister or commissioner; it doesn’t work like that here, I cannot fire Olusola Adeyeye, for instance.
If you understand that, you will win their confidence. I will say that 99 per cent of the Senate is going in one direction and that is what we have been able to achieve. And who gains for that, the country.
This is why, for example, the Constitution amendment, we could do it.
You will know that even on the day of the Constitution amendment, we did not sit for two hours because some senators refused and said there was something funny and they delayed us for two hours.
But when we sat and I addressed them and told them that I was not here to protect anyone’s agenda, that I am here for all of us, then we sat and achieved all of that,”.