Kogi East Senate Race: Atai Aidoko and The ‘Ranking’ Advantage

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Senator Atai Aidoko Ali was elected member, Federal House of Representatives in 2003 under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the then ANPP controlled state as the only opposition party from Kogi East among the three federal constituencies in the area.
During his stint at the lower house, he was Vice Chairman House Committee on internal security, among other committees of the House, and later Chairman House Committee of the same body that addressed the lingering myriads of state security matters and perceived external aggression.
Aidoko Ali was re-elected for another term in 2007, this time around with a ranking status, and was appointed chairman House Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In 2011, he was prevailed upon by the good people of Kogi East to vie for the Senate seat.
Aside the chairmanship, he retained membership of the internal security and several other committees that drive the 6th Assembly of the green chamber.
Senator Aidoko won the keenly contested election in 2011 after defeating his opponent and was declared winner. Although, he assumed office late before his other colleagues, but was privileged to be appointed as Chairman Senate Committee on Federal Character Commission and inter governmental affairs, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, member Appropriation, Judiciary/ Human Rights and legal matters, INEC, Privatisation, Environment and Ecology commitees.
Senator Aidoko used the membership of various committees to appropriate and made laws that will guarantee the smooth operations of the agencies of government.
Senator Aidoko again returned to the red chamber in January 2016. This time as a high ranking member after a protracted legal fireworks that saw his emergence as the legitimate occupant of the seat.
He was immediately recommended and appointed as the Chairman Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global intervention initiative jointly funded by the developed and developing countries with a view to achieving a set target of moving the developing countries beyond poverty level in all areas of our national life.
His performance, track records of achievement, dedication to duty attracted the 8th senate into allocating the SDGs under his supervision.
In the current senate, Senator Aidoko is a member the Senate Committees on FCT, Judiciary/Human rights and Legal matters, Solid minerals, Appropriation, INEC, Federal Character Commission and Inter-governmental affairs, as well as being member of special and adhoc committees of the National Assembly.
Senator Aidoko is a regular contributor to motions and bills on the floor of the senate, as well as issues of urgent national importance.
The Senator representing Kogi East single handedly sponsored a motion for the extension of the operationality of the 2016 budget on the floor of the senate from March to June to enable MDAs achieve the capital elements of the budget that will ensure basic, socio-economic development of the country. This feat wouldn’t have been realisable without his timely intervention and foresight.

Senator Aidoko also sponsored a motion that condemned the death of a female corps member, who was graduating the following day but was killed by stray bullet. That mandated the police authorities from issuing clearance to Nigerian hospitals before treating wounded victims of gunshots in the country.
Aidoko, also in one of the several committees assignment and oversight, threatened to lead a high powered protest in his constituency over the activities of ETA Zuma, the licenced company authorised by the federal government to explore the natural and abundant coal deposit in Okaba, Okobo, Odagbo and Odogomu communities in Ankpa local government area, over its refusal to adopt the best corporate social responsibility (CSR) that will mitigate the hazards of their operations in the area.
Soon after the affront with then minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi, the explorers adapted and swung into provisions of basic social amenities to the people of the area by reconstructing roads, schools and clinics as well as provision of pipe borne water to the communities.
Senator Aidoko sponsored bills and motions both in the 7th and current 8th Senate. Among these are:
*A bill for an act to establish a National trauma centre in all the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria 2012.
* The bill is to provide among other things,prompt medical response to citizens especially road accidents,and other injuries from unforseen circumstances
* An addendum and appeal to also establish same agency at FCT Abuja.
All passed through second reading.
List of the bills sponsored in the senate are as follows;
1. Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission,NIPC(Amendment)Bill 2017
2. Company and Allied Matters,CAM‎(Amendment) Bill,2017
3. Nigeria Ports Authority,NPA(Amendment) Bill,2017
4. Nigerian Postal Services,NPS (Amendment) Billn2017
5. Nigerian Communication Commission,NCC (Amendment) Bill,2017
6. Federal Roads Safety Commission,FRSC(Amendment)
The motives behind the amendment sought by the Kogi East senator was to address obscure, obsolete ‎laws and reform outdated laws and policies that have retarded our economy and country to a snail speed scenario.
In the area of motions, since his assumption at the senate and his inauguration in January 2017, Kogi East senator has contributed to virtually all issues raised on the floor of the senate particularly issues of urgent national importance that bordered on the economy, security, budget and the activities of agencies and parastatals either ‎at plenary, committee level and other oversight functions.
‎Senator Atai Aidoko Ali, under order 42 of senate rules, came up twice to raise serious issues of urgent national importance that affected the security of lives and properties during the series of attacks by fulani herdsmen in Kogi state. He kicked against the establishment of cattle colonies/ranches and appointment of fulanis into Igala traditional councils, as well as directed the senate to mandate NEMA to provide relief materials for persons and communities affected by the attacks.
As part of law making, with many months legislation at the ‎8th senate, more bills, motions and urgent issues of national importance will be tackled as the need arises.
All said and done, the primacy of law making, contributions and observations will ran it’s full course in the remaining part of the year before 2019 elections.
The ranking status is a corollary to lawmaking and oversight obligations to the betterment of our area, people and country at large. Hence, the genuine and sincere course to return Kogi East senator, Distinguished Senator Atai Aidoko Ali to the senate in 2019 is sacrosanct.
– Abubakar Yusuf writes from Abuja

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