The Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, says the leadership of the Senate under his watch will make a difference if elected the 9th Assembly’s Senate President.
Lawan made the remark when he led a delegation of his campaign team on a courtesy visit to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters in Abuja.
The lawmaker, who is an aspirant for the number one position of the Senate, represents the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Yobe North Constituency.
He said his leadership would not only ensure unity among members of the parliament but make transparency and accountability its watchword for better service delivery for Nigerians.
“The Senate plays a critical and crucial role in governance in Nigeria, having to confirm various high government appointees right from the ministers to others, in addition to other legislative functions stipulated in the Constitution
‘’So we believe that we need to make a difference, giving Nigerians what they have voted for and our campaign slogan as a group is: `A Senate and the National Assembly that work for Nigerians,’’ he said.
Lawan said though the APC had the majority number of senators-elect, the need to work as a team cannot be over-emphasised.
He said: “We have to work together. It is very well known and obvious that the APC is in the majority with 65 senators-elect but at the end of the day, we are supposed to legislate for the people of Nigeria.
“We are supposed to ensure that we work as a group within the bicameral arrangement of the National Assembly; the Senate and the House working together to give the arms of government the raw materials required for good governance, for service delivery and to ensure also that there is transparency and accountability in governance.
“That much is our vision in the next legislature, the National Assembly, from June 2019 by the grace of God.’’
He said he was also qualified in terms of experience and competence in the legislative work.
“We have been around for long while in the National Assembly. I will clock 20 years by the grace of God on the first week of June.
“First I served as a member of the House of Representatives for eight years and I moved to the Senate in 2007. We must have leadership that is based on experience and that is what we are trying to do,’’ he stated
The lawmaker said what was required “is to have a Senate that is focused and united on national interest matters.’’
“We must know that we are not representing ourselves, that Nigerians have consciously decided to vote for 109 people to represent them in the Senate and of course, 360 in the House,’’ he said.
He thanked the Managing Director of NAN, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, for hosting the delegation.
“Let me start by thanking you because I have been reading a lot about you and what you write but we have never been as close as this.
“It is a pleasure and an opportunity for us to meet you and the management of the News Agency of Nigeria,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Sen. Lawan Campaign Group, Sen. Abdullahi Yahaya, said the team was in NAN to interact with the management in preparation for the election of the presiding officers of the 9th Senate.
“I thank you for allowing us to come and interact with you and showcase our candidate to Nigerians,’’ he said.
Earlier, Onanuga, who welcomed the delegation, said he was in support of party supremacy.
He noted that in 2015, the ruling party rooted for the candidacy of Lawan for the position of Senate President “but now, his colleagues have rooted for his candidacy in 2019 rather than the party’’.
“But the opponent are saying that it is the party that is trying to impose him, and for me, also being a party man, I don’t see if anything is wrong in that anyway.
“I believe in party supremacy; the party must be supreme. Whatever the party wishes, that is where we should go,’’ he said.
Some of the lawmakers in the delegation include Sen. Yakubu Oseni (Kogi); Sen. Olu Adetunbi (Ekiti); Sen. Kabri Barkiya (Katsina); Sen. Ibrahim Hadejia (Jigawa); Sen. Sodiq Umar (Kwara); Sen. Ahmed Kaita (Katsina); Sen. Ashiru (Kwara); Sen. Ajibola Basiru (Osun); Sen. Tolu Odebiyi (Ogun); Sen. Suleiman Kwari (Kaduna) and Sen. Muhammed Musa (Niger).
Other are Sen. Bello (Katsina); Sen. Solomon Adeola (Lagos); Sen. Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa); Sen. Francis Alimikhens (Deputy Senate Whip); Sen. Barau Jibrin (Kano) and Sen. Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba).