- The zoning formula that is adopted in almost all political activities in Nigeria has its own flaws
- It has denied Nigerians the opportunity to retain brilliant legislators whose contributions to the national development
- Some other legislators have however weathered the storm and retain their seats
A report by Daily Trust has focused on the legislators at the national assembly who have remained in the National Assembly for close to two decades.
According to the report, as far as the affairs of the National Assembly are concerned, they must be reckoned with, and their roles cannot be pushed aside.
Some have spent 18 years at the National Assembly, some are in their 14th year. Of them, only one has stayed put in the Senate, and another has done same at the House of Representatives.
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The lawmakers are both from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
NAIJ.com lists the legislators below:
1. Senator David Mark (PDP, Benue, 1999-date)
He represents the people of Benue South Senatorial District. He is a former military administrator of Niger state and minister of communications. In 2007, he became the Senate President and occupied the position for eight years making him Nigeria's longest-serving Senate President. Two years into the life of this Senate, Senator Mark has not contributed to any debate on the floor and he is not a member of any standing committee.
2. Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (APC, Yobe, 1999-date)
Lawan, 57, also came to the National Assembly in 1999. While Mark was sworn in for the upper chamber, Lawan had his for the lower chamber. He remained at the House until 2007 when he stepped up to the Senate. The Yobe-born teacher, who has a doctorate degree in remote sensing became the Senate Leader in January this year. His knowledge of the workings of the legislature is superb. He has spent 18 years in the National Assembly.
3. Honourable Nicholas Ebomo Mutu (PDP, Delta, 1999-date)
The 57-year-old lawmaker came to the House at the inception of this current democratic dispensation. He won election to represent Bomadi/Patani Federal Constituency of Delta state at the age of 39. He has been winning elections since then.
Mutu has been operating underground, so to speak, and has been heading the house committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from 2009 to date. The soft-spoken Delta lawmaker rarely contributes to debate on the floor of the House and hardly grants interviews, but he appears to be in firm grip of his committee.
4. Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu, 2003-date)
A lawyer-turned-politician, Senator Ekweremadu was first sworn in to represent Enugu West Senatorial District in 2003, after chairing Aninri local government area of Enugu state. At the moment, he is the longest-serving presiding officer in the National Assembly, having served for eight years as Deputy Senate President (2007-2015) under Mark.
He is very familiar with letters of the constitution and rules of the Senate. He has been a presiding officer for 10 years.
5. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos, 2003-date)
Gbaja, as he is popularly called, came to the house in 2003 to represent Surulere 1 Federal Constituency of Lagos state at the age of 40. He first served as house minority whip from 2007, and later became minority leader, a position he held up to 2015.
Gbajabiamila is one lawmaker that commands a lot of respect from his colleagues largely due to the way he articulates his ideas and thoughts each time he speaks on the floor of the house. The Lagos lawmaker, who will soon turn 55, has become an authority of a sorts, as far as lawmaking is concerned. He is the current majority leader of the house.
6. Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno, 2003-date)
Ndume was first sworn in to represent Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza in 2003. He represented the Federal Constituency until 2011 when he moved forward to represent the Benue South Senatorial District.
He was in 2007 made the minority leader while he was in the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP). He was made the Senate Leader at the inauguration of the 8th Senate, a position he occupied until January 10, this year when he was removed. He is currently under suspension.
7. Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta, 2003-date)
Manager, 56 was sworn in as a senator in 2003 to represent Delta South Senatorial District and since then he has been at the Senate, chairing various committees. A graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he studied law, he currently chairs the Senate committee on solid minerals. He is respected by his colleagues for his grasp of the workings of the Senate.
8. Honourable Leo Ogor (PDP, Delta, 2003-date)
He is the minority leader of the house. He has been representing Isoko North/Isoko South Federal Constituency of Delta state since 2003. He had served as deputy house leader during the last assembly.
Ogor, 58, is one lawmaker that easily convinces his colleagues by arguing a matter logically. Like Gbajabiamila, Ogor is one of the most outspoken members of the house. Not only does he command respect among his colleagues, he wields a lot of influence in the house and attracts lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties to his office at all times.
9. Senator John Owan Enoh (APC, Cross River, 2003-date)
Enoh who chairs the Senate committee on finance was first sworn in to occupy a seat at the House of Representatives. In 2015, he contested and worn the Cross River Central Senatorial District. The lawmaker recently decamped to the APC from the PDP. He has been in the National Assembly for 14 years. At the House of Representatives, he chaired the committee of finance and appropriation at different times.
10. Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda (PDP, FCT, 2003-date)
Aduda, 47)is the bona fide ‘landlord’ of the National Assembly being the representative of the FCT where the National Assembly is situated.
Fondly called ‘Landlord’ by his colleagues, Aduda was first sworn in at the house in 2003 and he was there until 2011 when he stepped up to the upper legislative chamber. At the inauguration of the 8th Senate, he was made the minority whip.
11. Yakubu Barde (PDP, Kaduna, 2003-date)
Barde has been representing Chikun/Kajuru Federal Constituency of Kaduna state since 2003. He is the current minority whip of the house. Vocal and outspoken, Barde has been a frequent face on the floor of the house as he hardly misses plenary sittings, except on few occasions.
By virtue of his long stay in the house and the role he played during the last leadership contest in the house, Barde is considered one of the power brokers in the lower chamber.
12. Kabiru Marafa Achida (APC, Sokoto, 2003-date)
Achida, who represents Wurno/Rabah Federal Constituency of Sokoto state, is one lawmaker that does not play to the gallery. He first came to the house in 2003 and has been a constant election winner since then.
He has been a member of committees such as appropriations, civil society and donor agencies, information and national orientation, interior, NDDC, public petitions, among others.
Always sitting at the front row alongside other ranking members of the House, Achida, now 55, does not attract much attention to himself, but he is certainly one of the silent power brokers in the house owing to his long stay in the green chambers.
13. Honourable Jagaba Adams Jagaba (1999-2003, 2007-date)
Jagaba, who chairs the house committee on interior, won election to the house in 1999. After serving his 4-year term, he re-contested election in 2003 but lost. However, he staged a comeback in 2011 and has been in the house since then.
A close ally of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Jagaba is considered one of the strong men of the current house. He is equally outspoken and a no-nonsense person in nature.
Watch the NAIJ.com TV video below of the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi talking about the achievements of the federal government in the last two years.