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OPINION

9th Assembly: The Kind Of President The Senate Needs

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The race for who succeeds Senator Bukola Saraki as President of the 9th Senate and chairman of National Assembly is nearing its finished line between Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan (APC Yobe) and former Senate Leader Ali Ndume (APC Borno) as top contenders. There are rumours, that former Gombe Governor and chairman, Senate Panel on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, may have been procrastinating and still weighing options for very obvious reasons.

The APC has recommended Lawan to senators-elect as the most suitable to head the legislative arm of the government in the 9th Assembly.

The party settled for Lawan on the basis of seniority in parliament (1999 till date), seniority in ranking (Senate Leader), loyal and most consistent party member amongst all other contenders, free of all forms of malfeasance, ability to galvanize and provide purposeful leadership as demonstrated in the over three years he held sway as Senate Leader at a most difficult and unpredictable political turbulence prior to the build up to the 2019 general elections and post-elections developments within the PDP-led Senate .

The APC as a ruling party did not make any mistake in recommending Lawan for the number-three job, because the reasons for the party’s endorsement are incontestable and properly fit into all known parliamentary standards, including the United States.

It is important to note that beyond the position of the APC, the citizens irrespective of political party affiliations, socio-cultural status or whichever field of endeavour, are a major stakeholder with a minimum expectation of who heads the legislature, which is the closest arm of government to the ordinary man.

For this majority stakeholder, who roundly applauded the standards set by the Benue-born Senator David Mark, the emergence of Lawan as President of the Senate would send the signals that indeed Nigeria and Nigerians are clear-headed and on the tracks of ensuring progress  through people-oriented legislations, integrity and independence of the legislature;  constructive engagements with the other arms of the government with the view to putting in place laws, motions, resolutions that would positively affect the lives and well-being of Nigeria and Nigerians. These major stakeholders home and in the Diaspora certainly would applaud the 9th Senate for giving them a Senate President they can all be proud of.

Those who know Lawan refer to him as a workaholic senator and would not need to be told that he is at it again the moment he throws off his babariga and adjusts his lens. He works beyond normal closing hours and in some cases over the weekends.

As chairman of all the panels he has chaired in both House and Senate, Lawan would be the one to welcome his colleagues to committee meetings, investigations or public hearings and that underscores his commitment and how much he respects time.

His roles in the establishment of a Federal University in Gashua (Yobe state) during the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, the long list of federal employments he has attracted to his state of Yobe since 1999, the various constituency projects and other interventions are still fresh on the minds of his constituents.

Lawan has always kept to his words on all issues, yes, it would require a reasonable amount of facts to convince him, which in itself is a show of strong leadership quality; but once you secure his consent you have a deal.

For those who know Lawan and have worked closely with him, know the lawmaker does not play to the gallery, his decisions are products of a careful assessment of the issues with fairness, equality and due process as a yardstick.

This and many more are clear qualities of the kind of leadership that Nigeria craves to have at all levels.

  Oota writes from Abuja.

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