By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—AHEAD of the inauguration of the 9th Senate and the coming on board of new Presiding officers, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), yesterday, said that the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) will have 73 Senators from across party lines to vote for him.
This is as a coalition of civil society organizations (CSOs), led by Centre for Policy Advocacy and Leadership Development (CPALD) threw its weight behind the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan as next President of the Senate describing his adoption by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as in line with global parliamentary best practices.
In a release signed on their behalf by the Director, Democracy and Governance of CPALD, Comrade Joe Mesele, the CSOs said:
“We have watched with keen interest for some weeks now debates as to the proprietary of the leadership of the APC in nominating Senator Ahmed Lawan as its Candidate for the President of the Senate of the 9th Assembly.
We at the Centre for Policy Advocacy and leadership Development alongside ten of our sister CSOs hereby unequivocally state that we are on the same page in advancing the course of democracy in Nigeria and therefore view the development as welcome because it’s in line with international Parliamentary best practices.
We have studied Parliamentary developments in several advanced democracies and came to the conclusion that the leadership of those Parliaments are usually members with the requisite cognate experience – Usually leaders of the ruling party’s caucuses. And right now in Nigeria, the leader of the APC caucuses in the Senate is Senator Ahmed Lawan. He is therefore, without sentiments, eminently qualified to hold the position.”
Addressing journalists yesterday, in Abuja, Senator Abdullahi who is the spokesman of the Ahmad Lawan for Senate President, said “Let me say very clearly that the nature of parliament is such that you cannot shut anybody out. It is not possible. I want Nigerians who look at those of us who are the actors and take note of what we say. That is the most important thing.
“I want to submit and assure Nigerians that by the special grace of God, if Senator Lawan gets there, he will run an all inclusive government because the Senate is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The 109 senators are individual senators representing the various senatorial districts in the country. They have inalienable rights to be heard and listened to for government to work for them no matter our differences and no matter the sentiments that we share.