1. It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of profound responsibility that I welcome you all to this legislative session. Congratulations to us all. Congratulations to the entirety of Kogi State. Congratulations to this crop of legislators for making history as the lawmakers in whose tenure the state held one of the most peaceful governorship elections since the beginning of the fourth republic in 1999.
2. At this juncture, please permit me to address you using this unusually long speech because many things have transpired in the course of the November 11th gubernatorial election in the state.
3. In the aftermath of a particularly polarizing electioneering campaign, we gather here with the shared commitment to move forward, to work collaboratively, and to serve the greater good of our constituents.
4. In the diverse tapestry of our democracy, we recognize and respect the multitude of perspectives that our constituents hold. It is this diversity that enriches our debates and fuels the democratic process. The recently concluded elections have showcased the strength of our democratic system, allowing the voices of the people to be heard. Today, we must come together, regardless of our political, ethnic, and religious affiliations to fulfill the promises we made during our campaigns and address the pressing issues facing our society.
5. As we enter this legislative session, it is essential that we keep in mind the common purpose that unites us which is the betterment of the lives of those we represent. We are entrusted with the responsibility to legislate, deliberate, and make decisions that will shape the future of our communities, villages and towns that we represent across Kogi State.
6. Distinguished colleagues, while the election may have highlighted our differences, it is imperative that we focus on the common ground that unites us. Our shared commitment to public service and the well-being of our constituents transcends every division. Let us rise above the discord of the campaign season and dedicate ourselves to finding common-sense solutions to the challenges that lie ahead.
7. I encourage each and every one of you to engage in open and respectful dialogue. Let us listen with empathy to the concerns and aspirations of our fellow legislators, recognizing that diverse perspectives contribute to the richness of our democratic discourse. Through cooperation and compromise, we can forge a path that reflects the will of the people and advance the common good for the entire state.
8. As we embark on this legislative journey, let us remember the words of President Abraham Lincoln, who reminded us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Together, we can build bridges, overcome divisions, and work towards a future that is marked by unity, progress, and shared prosperity.
9. In the spirit of collaboration, I extend my hand to each and every one of you. Let us, the representatives of the people, rise to the occasion and demonstrate that despite our differences, we are united in our commitment to serve and uplift our communities.
10. Dear Brothers and sister lawmakers, you will agree with me that in a society as richly diverse as ours, where various ethnic groups coexist. It is imperative that we explore innovative ways to foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity for all. A rotational government system, wherein leadership roles are systematically rotated among the different ethnic groups, offers a compelling solution to address the concerns of under-representation and promote a shared sense of ownership. By ensuring that all senatorial zones have the opportunity to lead the state, we can break down barriers, dispel mistrust, and create a political landscape that is truly reflective of our collective identity as one federating community in Nigeria.
11. One of the primary benefits of a rotational government is the promotion of inclusivity. When individuals from different zones take turns in the leadership roles of the state, it sends a powerful message that every senatorial district is an integral part of the state. This does not only empower marginalized groups but also encourages active participation in civic life, fostering a sense of responsibility and commitment to greater good.
12. Furthermore, a rotational government acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of talents and perspectives across the state. Different ethnic groups bring unique strengths and insights to the table, and a rotational leadership model allows us to harness this diversity for the benefit of the entire state. It also promotes a culture of collaboration where leaders from various backgrounds come together to address the multifaceted challenges we face.
13. Respected colleagues, be reminded here that as legislators, we play crucial roles in shaping the legal framework that governs society; hence, our responsibility in lawmaking should be approached with utmost seriousness. As we approach the end of year 2023, we must make ourselves available to deliberate on issues at hand and other very serious pieces of legislation that would ensure the progress of our state. This is important because laws have a profound impact on the lives of individuals and communities that we represent. Legislation dictates how people interact, trade, and coexist within a society. A single law can have far-reaching consequences, affecting everything from personal freedoms to economic activities. As legislators, we must recognize the weight of our decisions and approach lawmaking with all sense of responsibility.
14. At this juncture, I want to appreciate the Executive Arm of Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, CON, for providing the enabling environment for collaboration with other arms of government which resulted in the victory of our party during the November 11th gubernatorial election. I am also extending the appreciation of this Assembly to other members of the state executive arm for the robust relationship we have enjoyed since the inauguration of the 8th Assembly. It is our prayer that we would enjoy improved cordiality with the incoming government of Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo.
15. I also want to specially express gratitude to my brothers and sisters in this hallowed chambers for their cooperation with the current leadership and trust in our ability. I feel highly privileged to be part of this set of progressive thinking and development oriented lawmakers.
16. I thank you all for listening.
RT. HON ALIYU UMAR YUSUF