The 8th Senate, which was inaugurated on June 9, 2015, adjourned its legislative activities indefinitely after four years on Thursday and will no longer hold legislative activities.
The senate adjourned indefinitely after the question was put by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
Saraki in his farewell speech thanked his colleagues for demonstrating patriotism toward protecting the sanctity of the legislature saying although some of them had to pay dearly for daring to defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it was worth it.
He said he was bowing out a fulfilled man, knowing that in spite of the hiccups experienced in the life of the senate, the achievements recorded could not be matched.
“Distinguished colleagues, as we come to the final plenary and the last few days of the eighth Senate, it is a victory in itself that we are seeing the journey to its momentous end.
“That I am here today, that you are here today, is a victory for democracy. It is a testament to what people can do when they come together for the greater good.
“This is also one of those occasions when the Supreme Creator reminds us, once again, that power does not reside in any one person.
“Let me thank each and every one of you for your contributions toward making this the historic Senate that it is.
“When I think of the many trials and tribulations we have faced as an institution, and my own personal travails particularly at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, I am humbled.
“This is because none of our achievements would have been possible without the support and cooperation of the entire members of this chamber.
“The invasion of the National Assembly by armed security operatives in August 2018 will live in infamy.
“This way down the line, however, I realise that the day of that invasion was the saddest but in many ways it was also a good day for asserting the independence of the legislature and the triumph of democracy.
“It also turned out to be a showcase of the special relationship between this chamber and the House, as Honourable Members stood in unison with their Senate colleagues in defiance of the invaders,” he said.
Saraki thanked the House of Representatives for the remarkable unity of the two chambers of the 8th National Assembly, adding that it was only in unity that they were able to withstand the storm.
According to him, working together, they achieved many “firsts” in the 8th Assembly saying, “we should rightly be proud of these, especially as they are imperishable legacies we are leaving for the people.
“Our many firsts include the National Assembly Joint Public Hearing on the Budget, which we started with the 2016 Appropriation Bill.
“The engagement of the private sector and other stakeholders in crafting the economic legislative agenda was a watershed.
“For the first time, there were meetings and interactions with members of the public which were not previously the norm.
“One such interaction was the Public Senate, which gave the youth the opportunity to spend a day with me as President of the Senate.
“I have pleasant memories of my reading to an audience of small children inside my office, where, in the true spirit of Children’s Day, the kids themselves were the dignitaries.
“It was during this senate that we patented the concept of the Roundtable. This was groundbreaking.
“We left the centre of power in Abuja to tackle pressing social issues at the very heart of the communities most affected,” he said.
He advised whoever would succeed him to be there for the people, act in the interest of the average Nigerian, keep the legislature always at the behest of the citizens, and allow the national assembly to be the people’s parliament.
“Whoever succeeds me, that person will still be a product of the 8th Senate. We did it together. Let there be continuity.”
Saraki however enumerated some gray areas of the 8th senate to include the poor relationship with the Executive.
He called for more engagements and collaboration between the two arms in future assemblies.
In their contributions, lawmakers took turns to appraise the achievements of the 8th Senate.