After assessing the contender as well as the underdogs vying for Nigerian Senate President of the ninth senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan needs not run but walk to the finish line in June when he should be sworn in as the Senate president. For any all-progressives government, especially such with the anti-graft mantra as led by President Muhammadu Buhari, there is always the yearning for the birth of “the beautiful ones” –leaders with impeccabilities. Although it may be disputed that the only perfect humans are those who never existed, Lawan is among the few with a pedigree (in Nigerian politics) that he has never been tried in any court of law or invited by any law enforcement body for allegation of any crime despite having been in the legislature for the longest time. The glaring evidence that his long stay shows his experience and competency which always make him to be considered for reelection by his constituency in Yobe State adds to his merits to become the next Nigerian Senate President, if compared with other senators aspiring for the same elective position. Many a time since 1999 when Lawan was voted for into the House of Representative for the Northern state of Yobe, he chaired the House Committee on Education and Agriculture which recorded remarkable growth for the state. In 2007, his people continued to give him the mandate for the Yobe North Constituency of Yobe State as he was promoted into the Senate. Only a year later in 2008, he took active membership of the National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Constitution Review. In 2009, he initiated and sponsored the Desertification Control Commission Bill among others as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts. Lawan is also well known to have halted the proposed Kafin Zaki Dam –controversial project to build a reservoir on the Jama’are River. He eloquently argued that the Tiga Dam and the Challawa Dam had already reduced water level hazardously and observed the Jama’are River is now the major source of water to the Yobe River. Thus, he reasonably and convincingly pointed out the dams had led to upsurge in migration, farmers /herdsmen crises, desert incursion and not numbered hardships on his people.
Another major merit to Lawan’s aspiration to the ninth Senate president is the fact that he is still among the few that can be described as the true definition of party loyalty. Even in the intense political turmoil characterized by many Judases crisscrossing parties and politicians nailing one another on the cross of hate speeches and unhealthy political rivalries, Lawan remains true to a party. He was in a position for 16 years from 1999 to 2015 before he became part of the ruling party as a result his party and other parties merging to form the All Progressives Congress (APC). It is worthy of note that he has always been loyal to his party from the APP which later the ANPP and which eventually combined alliance with other political parties to form the now ruling APC. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise when the number-one citizen of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari and many APC giants such as, Adams Oshiomhole and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan as the Senate president for the ninth Senate. Who would not desire the friendship of a man who has proven to be loyal?
To refute the assertion that the legislative arm will be an extension of the executive arm simply because the president and the APC leaders have endorsed a tested ant trusted compatriot (Lawan) as the Senate president, it is pertinent to understand that decisions are reached based on 2/3 votes of other senators in the Senate. Also while the separation of powers was constitutionally made to ensure checks and balances among the three; executive, legislature and judiciary, there is always the need for the three arms of government to work unanimously in utmost goal of serving the Nigerian populace effectively. The ninth Senate should not repeat the mistake of the former which was characterised regular show of might between the executive and the legislature and resulted to budget delays, budget padding, “legislative thuggery” and the likes. To buttress this premise in Lawan’s voice that was quoted thus by Premiumtimesng.com: “Who says we will never disagree with the executive; by constitutional design, we are meant to disagree, hold different perspectives from time to time on issues.” He further added, “But when we disagree, I always say we should sit down and look at issues and take a decision that is in national interest.”
Nonetheless, Lawan possesses a fantastic resume as a senator to lead the ninth senate. He is born 1959 and holds Bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Maiduguri, Master’s degree from Ahmadu Bello University and a doctorate degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom. Besides being result oriented, he is widely regarded by many to be very intelligent, especially in the legislative business. That is why he is aptly nicknamed by his colleagues and the media as the “Legislative Encyclopedia.”
Above all, Lawan’s enviable and clean track files as a senator that represents the Yobe north constituency plus many of his humane values, notably his loyalty to his people, his party and the Nigerian people at large, with the endorsement by President Muhammadu Buhari and other key players of the APC, just to highlight a few, make him stand out in the race for the Nigerian Senate President of the ninth assembly. Since most of, if not all, the Cassius in the Senate seem to have been purged out through the recently concluded elections, one need not fear the dribbles that brought in the incumbent in 2015 though against APC’s wish as ruling party. This time, he will walk easily to the finish line in June to claim his long deserved senate president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.