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Lawan, Kalu Tearful As Senate Holds Valedictory Session

At the event well attended by lawmakers, the Senators took time to recount their experiences in the 9th National Assembly.


senate-valedictory-session.
Senator Lawan exchanging greetings with First Lady Remi Tinubu at the Valedictory session. Insert: a tearful Orji Kalu.

 

It was an emotional moment for lawmakers as the Senate held its valedictory session on Saturday. 

At the event well attended by lawmakers, the Senators took turns to recount their experiences in the 9th National Assembly.

Vice President Kashim Shettima of Borno Central and Nigeria’s First Lady Remi Tinubu, and outgone Senate President Ahmad Lawan were some of the lawmakers present.

In his valedictory speech, Shettima urged incoming senators to work for the betterment of Nigeria as the lawmakers elect their leaders.

“To my incoming colleagues, I will leave you with a parable, ‘the stability of this nation is superior to the stability of our pockets’. On Tuesday, let us vote wisely, let us vote for the Nigerian nation,” the vice president said.

The First Lady, who said she contemplated retiring from politics, attributed her stay in the Senate to God.

“God sustained me for three terms, from the 7th assembly, 8th assembly, and 9th assembly and I am still confused myself how I have been able to continue this journey,” she said.

“At the time, I even thought that let me retire and begin to face my family because serving the nation takes a lot of sacrifices and it starts with a sacrifice from your home, your children, even your better half. It takes a lot of sacrifices to want to give time to serve the nation. At the same, it’s a great privilege for all of us that are here.”

On his part, the immediate past Senate President Lawan praised his colleagues for their support during his tenure as their leader.

The lawmaker, who was quite emotional towards the end of his remark, recalled the various feats achieved by the Senate despite the challenges and said this was impossible without their backing.

“I thank you, all my colleagues, for voting me to be the President of the Senate. It has been an honour and a privilege for me to serve as a member of this revered legislative body and to preside over its activities at a defining moment in our history,” he said.

“Esteemed colleagues, today, our stewardship in the 9th Senate comes to an end. As the cliché goes, all good things come to an end,” Lawan said.

“We do not depart with regrets but rather with a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that we made our modest contributions towards building a better and prosperous Nigeria.”

A former Abia State governor Orji Kalu was also quite emotional during his valedictory speech.

He thanked the lawmakers for standing by him during his trying times.

“Before I came into politics, I could buy anything money can buy. I’m not a thief. Those that put me in prison know the reason. They took over my businesses and wanted to kill me yet I survived it and I’m in the senate with you,” he said.

“I have never lacked, while I was in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where I served for two terms as governor, I brought the money that they used in forming that party, every penny, in 1997 and 1998, and I later became a thief,” the Abia lawmaker added.

“People I gave transport money from my house in Victoria Island became agents. This is what Nigeria represents. I want to thank my colleagues for giving me these four years of uninterrupted support. This country is not fair.”