The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki has urged politicians to defer politicking till the period of the general election in 2019 and focus on running Nigeria smoothly for now.
Saraki made this known in his opening address at resumed plenary on Monday, where he described 2018 as the “last productive year” before the election.
He said, “Going into the New Year, I can only wish every one of us the best as we prepare for the task ahead. It is a crucial year. As you all know, this, in all probability, will be the last productive year before we go into the 2019 electioneering period. Not only is there the need to up the ante in terms of productivity, it is important we keep our eyes on the big picture.
“Let us not be caught in the political fray before due season. To each and every thing under the sun, it’s own time. This is Nigeria’s time. Let us devote ourselves to its service.
“It is therefore imperative that we speed up consideration on the various bills on which legislative work remains outstanding – particularly economic bills. Calling for similar attention are the other parts of the Petroleum Industry Bill related bills still to be passed, namely, the Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and the Petroleum Host Community Bill.
“It is my appeal to every one of us that our legislative duty to Nigeria and its people, must be uppermost in our minds. We must not allow the upcoming 2019 elections to overshadow our work for the people that elected us – or distract us from that which we are mandated to do by the constitution and the trust reposed in us by the people.
“This is my appeal: it is too early for 2019 politicking to override the legislative agenda and the larger work of governance. We have begun a good thing with the economic core of our agenda; let us see it to its proper conclusion.”
“It would be most insensitive to the needs of the people of this country if we were to do otherwise. I am directing this appeal not only to us in the chamber but to the National Assembly as a whole, as well as to the Executive and indeed all political actors.”