By Bukola Olasanmi
Nigeria’s Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has said that April 18, 2018 was the saddest day of his tenure.
Mr Saraki said this Thursday while delivering his valedictory speech. The valedictory session marks the last sitting of the eight Senate.
After other senators had took turn to reflect on the eighth Senate, it was the turn of Mr Saraki to deliver the last speech.
Before reading his speech, Mr Saraki asked his colleagues to observe a minute silence in honour of late Senators Ali Wakili (Bauchi South), Isiaka Adeleke (Osun West) and Bukar Mustapha (Katsina North) who passed away in the course of the eight Senate.
Mr Saraki thanked his colleagues for their support even in the face of trials.
He noted that the Senate invasion, which led to the theft of the mace, would remain ‘saddest’ moment for him.
“Distinguished colleagues, let me thank each and every one of you for your contributions towards 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, 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. I thank the House of Representatives for the remarkable unity of the two chambers of the 8th National Assembly, for it was only in unity that we could withstand the storm.”
Mr Saraki boasted of the conduct of his colleagues who he said had no scandal in the last four years.