…Says he’ll reciprocate support from PDP
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
SENATE President, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, said that the leadership of the Ninth Assembly would not be a rubber stamp as being speculated.
He said that he had never seen a National Assembly that had rubber stamp leadership and that his own leadership would not be different.
The Senate President, who said his election was supported by the opposition members, promised to do everything possible to ensure a harmonious senate for the overall interest of the country.
Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa Abuja, Senator Lawan said that the National Assembly under his leadership would ensure that there was a cordial relationship with the executive arm of government.
However, he said the leadership of the Ninth Assembly would not compromise its oversight function on other arms of government.
Speaking on the rubber stamp issue, Lawan, whose emergence was facilitated by the executive arm said, “A parliament is not a primary school or a secondary school where you have a headmaster or principal that will dictate to his students. Parliament is an aggregate or an assemblage of people that have equal status.
“Being elected as Senate President does not mean that I am the boss of the other Senators. I am simply to coordinate and aggregate views and lead debates. Whoever is in the majority, that will be the decision on of the Senate appropriately and accordingly.
“But one thing I must tell you is that while the desire to remain sufficiently on our track, we will ensure that oversight function is properly carried out but we will cooperate fully and give total support to the administration to ensure that there is good governance.
“There is no need for any fear that we will be a rubber stamp National Assembly. Perhaps and probably with time, Nigeria will come to see that what we desire and what will happen by the grace of God will be a working relationship that endears the entire administration and government to the people of Nigeria. So there is no cause for alarm.”
Giving reasons for his visit to the State House, he said, “We have come to pay courtesy and thank you visit His Excellency, the Vice President for the support and all the interventions he made during the contest for the office of the Senate President, the Deputy Senate President, the Speaker and even the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“This is an opportunity for us to also discuss the type of Senate and of course the National Assembly that should be expected in the Ninth National Assembly. “As the new National Assembly, we have received a bi-partisan mandate from across the parties. The PDP, the YPP voted for us and we believe that this is the time and opportunity for us to consolidate the kind of support that we received across the political parties that we received in the National Assembly.
“We believe that we must remain united and focused in the National Assembly for us to be able to deliver those legislative interventions that would be necessary for good governance in the country.’
“It is our desire in the Ninth National Assembly to work seamlessly with the executive arm of government because we believe that Nigerians did not make a mistake for voting for the executive as presently constituted and the legislature as it is today.”