Globally, lawmaking is viewed as one of democracy’s most commendable endeavors. The more time politicians spend in the office, the more refined they become, much like fine wine. While new lawmakers bring new ideas to the table, experience is essential when developing legislative proposals.
For every time a popular and capable legislator is fired, the amount of time and effort invested in studying the intricacies of governing at that level is wasted.
In Nigeria, however, a seat in the National Assembly is often seen as a prize for loyal party members or political protégés. The idea of Lawmakers serving more than one term is frowned upon by politicians, who believe that the opportunity to serve as a sort of empowerment. Thus, frequent candidate replacement by dominant parties would make the goodwill circulate.
But Nigeria has several long-serving Lawmakers who have been in the National Assembly since the nation reverted to civil government in 1999. One of these individuals, Senator David Mark, retired from political affairs in 2019 after serving for 20 years to become an ambassador in peace for Benue State. As a result of his resignation, the Ninth National Assembly had lost one of its most tenured members.
There are others who have served Nigeria for a long period besides him. Other lawmakers have served continuously since 1999. We’ll take a look at some of their profiles in this post.
1. Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (APC, Yobe, 1999-date)
Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, a Nigerian senator representing the Yobe North Senatorial District on the All Progressives Congress platform, was born on January 12, 1959. (APC). In June 2019, he was elected President of the 9th Senate, with 79 votes to Ali Ndume’s 28.
Lawan has been a member of the National Assembly since 1999 when he was elected to represent the Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency of Yobe State in the House of Representatives. In 2003, he was re-elected, and he served in that position until 2007 when he ran for and was elected to the Senate to represent Yobe North Senatorial District.
In a remarkable turn of events, he lost a quest to become Senate President in 2015 to Bukola Saraki. After the departure of Ali Ndume as Senate Majority Leader in 2017, Mr. Lawan was elected as the next Senate Majority Leader. He maintained the office until he was elected Senate President in 2019.
2. Hon Nicholas Mutu (PDP, Delta State, 1999 – till date)
In 1999, the People’s Democratic Party elected Hon. Nicholas Ebomo Mutu to the House of Representatives. At the age of 39, he was elected to represent the Delta State federal constituency of Bomadi/Patani. Then in 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019, he’s been re-elected.
In 1986, he graduated from the Rivers State School of Basic Studies, like Senator Lawan. Then he went to St. Clements University Caicos/Irland, British West Indies, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2003.
Mr. Mutu now chairs the House Committee on Gas Resources.
Despite his lack of participation in House debates and interviews, the soft-spoken Delta legislator must be doing something noteworthy to keep a solid grasp on his constituency.
3. Senator Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu, 2003-date)
The National Assembly’s longest-serving presiding officer is Senator Ekweremadu. Under David Mark’s leadership as Senate President and former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, he served as Deputy Senate President for 12 years (2007-2015). (2015-2019).
Since 2003, he’s been a member of the National Assembly, where he’s presently completing his fifth term in office. He was the chairman of the Aninri local government area in Enugu State, where he was born in 1962 and raised.
Senator Ekweremadu is a PDP member and a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in law (UNN). University of Abuja’s Law School awarded him a Ph.D. in Law in 2010.
In 1987, Ekweremadu was called to the Nigerian bar and introduced several laws, but his most significant contribution has been to the revision of the constitution. River Basins Development Authority (Establishment etc. Act 2004) was one of the bills he supported.
4. Rep Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos, 2003-date)
Gbaja, as he is known, entered the House of Representatives in 2003 at the age of 40 to represent Lagos State’s Surulere 1 Federal Constituency. Initially, he served as House Minority Whip from 2007 to 2015, and then became Minority Leader, a post he maintained until 2015.
Every time Gbajabiamila speaks on the House floor, his colleagues pay close attention to what he has to say because of the clarity with which he expresses what he believes to be important views. Even on a sidewalk, he can answer a journalist’s question. Gbajabiamila is the most vocal and approachable member of the House.
Even though he was defeated in the June 9, 2015, race for speaker, he was given the role of House Leader. Legislatively, the Lagos legislator has established himself as somewhat of an expert.
5. Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno, 2003-date)
Sen. Ndume was originally sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives in 2003 as a member of the erstwhile ANPP, representing the Chibok/Damboa/Gwoza Federal Constituency. In 2007, he served as House minority leader and Senate majority leader in the 8th Assembly.
A few politicians’ constituents have stood behind him regardless of the political party. In December of 2010, he left the ANPP and joined the PDP, alleging unfairness in the party as the reason for his departure. In 2011, he ran and won the Borno South senatorial election on the party of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Before the 2015 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari urged Ndume to join the APC, and he was re-elected that year.
He ran for Senate President in 2019 but lost. Despite Ahmed Lawan’s strong showing in the Senate, the party chose Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives and Ahmed Lawan as Senate president.
6. Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta, 2003-date)
The 62-year-old Senator Manager is also one of the longest-serving Nigerian Lawmakers. A former PDP chairman from Delta State, he was elected to the Senate in 2003 to represent Delta South’s senatorial constituency, and he has been there ever since.
Manager has served in the red chamber for the last four terms. After defeating Emmanuel Uduaghan of the APC in the 2019 general elections, he was elected governor of Delta State
At Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, he studied law and graduated with a degree in the field of law. The Niger Delta Development Commission was established thanks in large part to his legislation, which was essential in bringing about peace in the area (NDDC).
He urged the late President Umaru Yar’Adua to put a qualified individual in charge of a regional development agency. His advice to Nigerian lawmakers in 2019 was to avoid introducing legislation that would be rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Some Nigerian lawmakers have been granted the honor of becoming Elites of NASS because of the federal lawmaker’s ability to serve in either the State or National Assembly as long as they keep winning elections.
Concerning National Assembly proceedings, they must be taken into account and their duties cannot be ignored. Some of these “elites” have been in the National Assembly for 18 years, while others are now in their 14th year.