By Garba Idris
The 8th Senate is gradually winding down after very eventful four year period. Within this period, the 8th Senate has witnessed very trying moments under the leadership of Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki, a two term Governor of Kwara state. It has, at various occasions, been described as the most turbulent Senate because of the logger heads with the Executive Arm of Government.
This vibrant nature that the 8th Senate is known for, is what makes democracy a beautiful system of government. One cannot forget in a hurry, the stance of the Senate on several issues of refusing to approve outrighly, some of the appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari, because such appointments, based on the understanding of the Senate, are not in line with the requirements of the law.
Recently, President Muhammadu Buhari did host the leadership of the National Assembly to a dinner and of course, as usual, during the exchange of pleasantries, some of the issues that came out from the side of the leadership of the Senate was that democracy can only thrive where there is a vibrant National Assembly. Simply put: The Legislature must be allowed to function without undue interference. Now, since the 8th Senate has established itself as the most vibrant, whether for good or for bad, how can this vibrancy be sustained?
My belief and of course, the believe of so many, is that whoever is going to be elected as the next President of the Senate should have such antecedents that eminently qualifies him for the job.
The tripod nature of the system of government in Nigeria where we have the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, working together towards providing good governance for the Nigerian people demands that the Senate should be led by a personality that has tested the intrigues of power, particularly in two areas of being the Executive and the Legislative Arms of Government. This means, such a personality, because of his inherent experience of being on the two sides, will not be easily manipulated, intimidated or simply controlled to the bidding of some powers that be.
Taking a critical look at those eyeing the Senate Presidency, of them all, Distinguished Senator Danjuma Goje is the only candidate that is eminently qualified for the job. He was a Governor of Gombe state for eight years, after which he became a Senator.
As a Governor in his state Danjuma Goje, by all standards, can be described as the father of the modern day Gombe. His achievements speak for him in all nooks and crannies of the state. He has been able to ensure that the common man on the streets of Gombe has a taste of what democracy is all about. This was made possible because of his desire to uplift the standard of living of his people.
Indisputably, for democracy to flourish in our dear country and bring about dividends to meet the yearnings of Nigerians and to promote a robust legislature, there is need to have a Senate President with vision and capacity, with the necessary combination of education, experience and emotional intelligence to steer the affairs of the Senate, especially in a period like this.
Another quality that stands Senator Danjuma Goje out among his contenders is that he is a detribalised Nigerian, with a desire to promote and ensure the unity of Nigeria and Nigerians. This is not surprising.
Goje, an APC Senator representing Gombe Central, was a student of Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He had served as a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly from 1979-1983, and became a Minister of State, Power & Steel from 1999–2001. He was later to be elected governor of Gombe state and served eight years.
At a point, Danjuma Goje was appointed the Secretary of the National Institute for Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, in 1984.
His prudence and leadership style earned him to be appointed as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation. This is a responsibility that is only giving to trusted and financially disciplined personalities.
Danjuma Goje’s commitment to bequeath an everlasting legacy in wherever he finds himself is not in doubt. His expected emergence as the President of the 9th Senate will no doubt bring leadership to a more pragmatic , focussed and vibrant National Assembly, where due diligence and the rule of law will be allowed to work, towards entrenching the ideals of promoting good governance for the benefit of all.