By Mohammed Mamman, Damaturu (Yobe State); Aderemi Bamgbose,
Okitipupa (Ondo State); Deborah Coker, Benin, June 11, 2019
The people of Yobe, home state of the new President of the Senate,
Ahmad Lawan, expressed excitement over his emergence as head of the Red Chamber, saying “it is a reflection of national interest.”
The people reacted in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Damaturu on Tuesday, as the leadership of the 9th National Assembly was inaugurated in Abuja.
Senator-elect, Ahmad Lawan (APC-Yobe), won the senate presidential election held at the Senate Chamber on Tuesday.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani-Omolori, made the announcement in Abuja.
Lawan, and Senator-elect, Ali Ndume (APC-Borno), contested the highest legislative position.
While Lawan polled 79 votes, Ndume got only 28 votes.
Sani-Omolori declared that having scored the highest votes, Lawan had been duly elected as Nigeria’s Senate President of the 9th National Assembly.
Alhaji Muhammad Gagiyo, the Zanna Dujima of Bade, described the election of Lawan as a new dawn for patriotism and national development.
He said “Nigeria now has a committed senate president with a passion to serve the country and improve peoples’ lives.
“The new senate president over the years exhibited commitment with quality representation of his constituency. We are optimistic that he will provide the required leadership to the senate to see national service over and above selfish interests.”
The community leader appealed to the legislators to support and cooperate with the new leadership to achieve the set goals of
improving the lives of Nigerians.
Alhaji Ibrahim Usman, a member of APC in Yobe, said the new leadership would provide the support to move Nigeria forward.
He added that “Sen. Ahmed Lawan has the required leadership skills for a friendly and productive senate.”
Alhaji Mamman Suleiman, the Majidadin Bade, another community leader, described the election of Sen. Lawan as well timed to support the policy and programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration.
Suleiman assured that the competence and commitment of the new Senate President “will translate into improving the lives of Nigerians.
Abubakar Musa, a student of Political Science, Yobe State University, said the emergence of both the senate president and deputy president from the ruling APC was a good omen for the ruling government.
He said “the party has produced both the president and deputy president, unlike what was obtained in the last leadership.
“The lawmakers should therefore settle down and work assiduously for government to actualise its programmes and improve the lives of citizens.”
Meanwhile, Chief Charles Airhiavbere, a chieftain of the APC in Edo State, has said that the emergency of Sen. Lawan would stabilise the 9th National Assembly.
Airhiavbere told NAN in Benin on Tuesday that Lawan had garnered much experience in legislation to enable him lead the Senate.
He said Lawan’s wealth of experience and ability to reach out to his former and current colleagues would help him stabilise the assembly.
“I expect Lawan’s emergence to be of benefit to the entire country because his people have continuously returned him to the National Assembly since 1999.
“I also believe that with the support of the senators elect that are being inaugurated, he will take the 9th Assembly to a higher level of achievements because we count on his experience,” Airhiavbere said.
Lawan, who is from Yobe, was elected as member of House of Representatives in 1999, he was born in 1959 and at different times chaired the House Committees on education and agriculture.
He was elected as a Senator in 2007 and since then he has been re-elected to the Senate by his people.
Similar Chief Sunday Emeyese, a former member of the House of Representatives and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta congratulated Lawan for emerging the new Senate President.
“The fact that he garnered substantial votes from not just the ruling party but also from the opposition party, is a welcome development and it’s good for democracy,” he said.
Chief Dan Orbih, the Edo Chairman of the PDP, said that it is the responsibility of the senators to elect their President and other Principal Officers, adding that they have exercised their rights.
In a related development, Chief Abayomi Adesanya, a chieftain of the APC in Ondo state tasked the newly elected Senate President on the need for synergy among members.
He said Lawan should work assiduously with members and the executive arm of government for dividends of democracy to flow to Nigerians.
Abayomi, while congratulating Lawan in a telephone interview with NAN on Tuesday, shortly after the election, urged him to see his new position beyond party lines but to lead one indivisible house to protect the country’s democracy.
He said that the 9th assembly should hit the ground running in their legislative duties for Nigeria to be taken to greater heights.
“I congratulate Lawan, the new senate president and urge him to see his position as an act of God and beyond party lines for Nigerians to enjoy the dividends of democracy.
‘He should work assiduously with his colleagues and executive arm so that the senate can hit the ground running on their legislative duties to take Nigeria to greater heights’” he said.
Adesanya, a former APC Publicity Secretary in Ondo state, however commended APC senators who obeyed party supremacy which reflected in the emergence of Lawan as Senate President.
He expressed delight that the APC has now strengthened its internal democracy and learnt from its 2015 mistakes.
NAN reports that Lawan, representing Yobe North becomes the 14th Senate President sworn in since the beginning of democracy in 1999.