Non-returning 9th assembly Reps bow out, move items, documents
Mixed feelings enveloped the National Assembly as non-returning 9th House of Representatives members began to take their exit, moving items, documents and others from their offices ahead of the final dissolution of the parliament. The sitting for the 9th National Assembly will officially end on Wednesday, where members will bid goodbye to the job they have done for four years. Mr Yahaya Danzaria, the Clerk of the House of Reps, in a message, informed members that the valedictory session for the 9th House of Reps would hold on Wednesday. The event, according to him, will have in attendance former Presiding Officers, Leadership and Clerks. A News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, correspondent who visited some of the lawmakers offices reports that the atmosphere was charged with memories of their stay. Cleaners in the National Assembly were seen helping the lawmakers to move their personal belongings to the waiting arms of their vehicles. Some NASS staff were also seen taking inventory of items at the lawmakers offices; items such as fridges, television sets, photocopiers, portraits among others, were sighted. Some secretaries and aides to some lawmakers, who spoke to NAN on anonymity, prayed never to work with the kind of lawmakers they worked for. In what appeared like a consensus opinion on their bosses, they decried their alleged insensitivity to issues and tightfistedness, coupled with high-handedness and rampant absenteeism. While some of the staff relished their experiences about their bosses, emotions were betrayed, stating that their bosses were genuine, intentional and extremely nice to them for four years. One of the secretaries simply identified as Tonia, said her boss would be surely missed, describing him as thorough, kindhearted, dedicated and always willing to share in their time of need. On his part, Rep. Sam Onuigbo (APC-Abia) said the items being moved by the lawmakers had been paid for, adding that the lawmakers had been charged for the items and the money deducted from their allowances. Narrating some memories as a lawmaker, he spoke of things he was able to do for the overall wellbeing of the citizenry, adding it was the reason he was elected as a member. According to him, those memories include his contribution to debates on the floor of the house, bills and motions that he helped to push to put the nation on the right course. Onuigbo had sponsored the Bill on climate change which was assented to by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022. I have been able to impact meaningfully on Nigerians, for instance when they deleted Management Courses from the University of Agriculture, I came out heavily against it. I moved a motion, invited the relevant authorities, pursued it and said it was wrong for such an action to occur and then it was restored, he said. Also, Rep. Nkem Abonta (PDP-Abia), a non returning member, was asked what he would miss as a lawmaker. He said he had been privileged to sit at the National Assembly for four years. According to him, I have been privileged to sit here four tenures and also sixteen years as aide, I was a personal assistant for eight years to a Senator cumulatively twenty-four years for the institutional memory. What I will be missing is the issue of Nigeria, I pray the people coming after us have enough political will to approach issues that affect Nigerians. He said the problem was that most of the newcomers would have to begin to learn the rope, adding that by the time they mastered the art, they would again be shown the way out by their constituents. What we may do is to be around to offer our various opinions like Im doing now, and our experience. What I am trying to do is to put together the association of ex-members to see where we can also have national discussion on important issues and give our opinion. That we are not sitting here does not mean we are no longer relevant or that we can no longer count. I will actually go back to my class room. I used to lecture. I was a senior lecturer so I will go back to the lecture room," he said.