By Henry Umoru
AHEAD of the inauguration of the 10th Senate, Chairman, Senate Services Committee, Senator Sani Musa, APC, Niger East has said that judging from his pedigree and experience, he has what it takes to be the next President of the Senate, just as he assured Nigeria and Nigerians that the best minds would be elected to preside over the Senate and see Nigeria prosper again.
Speaking Monday Morning on Arise News, Senator Musa who was re- elected during the Saturday, 25th February National Assembly election said that he is a very loyal party man as a politician and that President Ahmad Lawan should also support his ambition if the position of Senate President is zoned to the North Central.
Musa noted that he is qualified as any of the aspirants for the position of the Senate President because he is a bridge builder, technologically experienced and well exposed federal lawmaker.
When asked on his relationship with Ahmad Lawan who is the current President of the Senate and whether his ambition will not affect the friendship that exists between them, the Senate Presidential hopeful, said also that his personal relationship with the incumbent President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, could not affect his aspiration if the Yobe Senator decided to seek a second term in office.
Musa said, loyalty is first to the good people of Niger East, and Niger state, and then to my geo- Political zone and Nigeria at large. My aspiration has nothing to do with my personal relationship with anybody in the Senate. I am here to represent my constituency. By virtue of my aspiration, I am to represent the North Central. My relationship with the Senat President is a respected one. I respect him and I will continue to respect him.
“He has led the National Assembly and he did very well. If the Senate President is zoned to the North Central, he will support me because I am also supporting his as the current Senate President.”
On his ambition to lead the 10th Senate, Musa who spoke about his glowing records, he spoke about his pedigree, however said that the fact that the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu is from the same geopolitical zone with him does not affect his emergence as a Presiding Officer of the red chamber.
On the National Chairman being from North Central, the Senator said, “The zoning arrangements in the National Assembly has nothing to do with the APC Constitution. It also has nothing to do with the Nigerian constitution. It is a gentleman agreement.”
Musa who went down memory lane to recall various times that the North Central had produced the Senate President and the National Chairman at the same time, said that the North Central deserved the position of the Senate President in the 10th National Assembly because the geopolitical zone contributed emensely to the emergence of Tinubu with their massive votes.
When asked on his past Bills, how he voted on key issues during plenary, the Senator who noted that he had raised over 30 bills touching the fibre and soul of the downtrodden as well as raised sensitive bills on regulating the tertiary health care sector that has been neglected and underfunded for so long, said that he had also come up with bills on the regulation of employees in the skilled and unskilled sector, that will see to improvements in their well-being, including the social media bill, among others.
Answering question on his voting pattern in the red Chambers, Senator Musa who noted that he has never voted on personal sentiments, but on how his constituents have asked him to vote, said that he has voted on party lines, adding, “I was instrumental to the new electoral act, voting for the electronic transmission of results by INEC, also bearing in mind that most remote villages and wards are not covered by internet and telecommunications services. I can also boast about the BVAS and how it has curbed over-voting and electoral malpractices.”
On his Social Media Bill, Senator Musa who dismissed every misinterpretation of the bill, explained that we all must be held accountable for what we post and say on social media, just as he said that like in every democratic country, even as he justified the reason behind his introduction of the social media bill, but noted that it was not designed to gag freedom of speech.
He said, “In an environment like Nigeria and with what we have been seeing, we need to regulate our social media space. It is not by gagging.
“I have never proposed any bill to gag freedom of speech. The bill is meant to regulate the social media usage by spelling out the red lines that should not be crossed. We must make sure that we endeavour as citizens exercise our freedom of speech in such a manner that it does not infringe on other people’s right to live. Iam a man who spends hours on social media and therefore cannot see an end to it, rather it should be regulated so that responsible commentaries abide on the social media space.”
On his background, he said that he is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, served in Port Harcourt, Rivers State and started working and later ventured into business and that even as a student of history, he is a veteran in Business.
On religion, Senator Sani Musa said however that the only condition that could make him to consider the position of the Deputy Senate President is if a competent Christian aspirant who is running for the office of Senate President convince him to step down, with genuine reasons.
Musa who described Nigeria as a secular nation and stressed the need to ensure balance between the two main religion in the country, noted that the tension that heralded the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate and his running mate, should be avoided in the race for the Senate Presidency.
He said, “In the current arrangement, The National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu; President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and the Vice President-Elect, Kashim Shettima, are Muslims.
“For the exigencies of our time, looking at the volatile situation of what has generated the Muslim-Muslim ticket in this country, I am one person that believes in the secularity of one Nigeria.
“I am one person that believes that, for every reason, there should be give and take in this country.
“We have lived with both Christians and Muslims. Some of us still have relatives that are still Christians and Muslims.
“We have lived in a society where there’s intermarriage; we have lived for so long.
Our forefathers envisaged a country where we would all live together.
“I will not have any problem seeing a qualified, competent personality like me in the Senate who has also presented himself for the office of the Senate President and asked me please to drop my ambition for him; I will do it.
“There is a position of Deputy Senate President, which also is a presiding officer in the National Assembly. I will be willing to do it if it’s going to be in the best interest of Nigerians and if it’s going to be in the best interest of the zone I am going to represent. There’s no commitment or sacrifice too much to make to keep the unity this country deserves.”
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