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I never indicated interest to be 10th Assembly’s Senate President— Lawan



ahmed Lawan

Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, has expressed confidence that the combination of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima will perform excellently for Nigerians due to their backgrounds as former members of the National Assembly.

He added that, “But the truth is I have never indicated to become the Senate President for the 10th Senate”, ROYAL NEWS reports.

Lawan who spoke to reporters on Thursday during his visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said: “What will inform the emergence will be the national interest, interest of the National Assembly, the legislature to together and therefore everybody matters in this process.

“We also believe that Mr. President having been a senator himself and his vice president also having been a senator, this is something that they will always wish and pray for.”

He added that, “As the chairman of the 9th National Assembly, I find it dutiful and necessary to work with all the major stakeholders especially the leadership of our country, Mr. president particularly to give my necessary opinion and advise on how the new leadership of the National Assembly should emerge and what we need to do to ensure stability, productivity of the National Assembly and to ensure peaceful atmosphere between the legislature and the executive arm of government.

“We are getting somewhere and my prayer is we are able to resolve all the outstanding issues by the grace of God. And Mr. President is positively disposed to everything being done smoothly.”

Speaking on the speculations that he is planning to retain his position as Senate President, Dr. Lawan stressed that, “On a more serious note, I have never indicated interest to run for the office of the president of the senate in the 10 National Assembly.

“We have worked together with distinguished senators of the 9th national assembly and members of House of Representatives to create a very clean environment for us to work.

“We have been productive, much more productive than any National Assembly. We have worked very closely with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and of course that helped the administration also.

“My prayer and wish and hope is that we are able to have peaceful transition who are outgoing to a new set of leaders of National Assembly and who will continue to unite everybody in the National Assembly, in the senate.

“We want to have a leadership in the senate that will unite senators to work so well regardless of their political parties, the same thing in the House of Representatives.”

He categorically said: “I never indicated interest to run but I have a responsibility to the Senate, the National Assembly having been in the National Assembly for 24 years now, especially when we have 70 percent of members in the National Assembly especially in the Senate who are new, those of us who have been there longer, owe everybody that responsibility to at least help mentoring those who are new if we are not going to be presiding officers or principal positions.

“I don’t really wish to be one. I have played my part and I am happy that we have played our part, we have made positive impact but of course, we have had our fair share of shortcomings but I can hold my head high on behalf of all my colleagues in the Senate and the National Assembly that this National Assembly have contributed to national development in no mean measure and have succeeded in getting very critical legislation passed and assented to by the former President.”

Answering question on the news of appointment of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to the President, Dr. Lawan said:”I am waiting for the announcement. You are speculating, you know you are in the media, I’m not. The speaker of the House of Representatives has been rumoured to be chief of staff designate.

“First of all, I pray that comes to pass. If that happens, Mr president would have made a every wise decision. At this moment, you need a chief of staff with very versed experience in the area of legislation, in the area of cooperating with executive which the speaker spare headed from the house.

“He has a very good network and the support that is required. And when that happens, you know this administration is going to be administration of the legislators.”

“You have a President who was a senator, a vice president who was a senator and of course our potential chief of staff designate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, is somebody who has been in the National Assembly for 20 years.

“So, this administration should have no difficult relating with the 10th National Assembly because all of them have passed through the National Assembly system and they know what the sentiments and the sensibilities of members of the National Assembly are.

“And I hope that they will take it to the next level because, the National Assembly has been vilified necessarily and unfairly for some things. For me, I take that calmly whenever we are called names because everything has a price.

“If you don’t perform you have a name to be called, if you perform they say you are rubber stamp. But, whichever name, what is crucial is for you to perform your services in the national interest.

“And I’m sure that the appointment as chief of staff to Mr. President will be a very welcome idea to many. So, I wish my brother well and wish that he will become the chief of staff and in advance, I pray for almighty God to guide him and protect him in his new job. As a gatekeeper is not going to be an easy job.”

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