How I will relate with Buhari if elected Senate President – Lawan

Senate President Ahmed Lawan
Senate President Ahmed Lawan

A lawmaker, Ahmed Lawan, has promised to maintain a cordial relationship between the legislature and the executive if elected president of the ninth Senate.

He said this while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Saturday.

The lawmaker, who is the preferred candidate of the All progressive congress (APC) for the position, said he believes an unhealthy relationship between the two arms of government will only make the country suffer more.

Mr Lawan is the current Senate Leader and is thus among the leadership of the outgoing Senate.

The relationship between the leadership of the eight assembly and the executive has not been rosy as both parties have openly disagreed over issues.

“In terms of the relationship between the executive and the legislature, I believe that you can have two relationships,” Mr Lawan said.

“The first is a negative one, the other one is a positive one. If you choose to fight, the two arms suffer and the country suffers even more. Because it is not possible for you to fight and yet get something done for the country.

“I don’t belong to the school of thought of encouraging fighting between the two arms of government. I can tell you I was in opposition for 16 years from 1999 to 2015. I argued and opposed positions that I felt was supposed to be opposed. But I knew the limits of my opposition when the issues before us were issues that would make life better for Nigerians.

“The other side is working together and not fighting. That has to be explained. When you have to work together you would disagree and by design of the constitution, the legislature has been given some functions that would naturally make the executive sit up or feel uncomfortable.

“There would be a day when the executive would send something that could be in colour white and the legislature would see it as grey because our perspective are meant to be different from time to time for the benefit of Nigerians,” he said.

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The lawmaker further pledged his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration.

He said he would, however, not run a ‘rubberstamp’ Senate if elected.

He also vowed to do the bidding of majority of senators on any issue brought before the upper legislative chamber for consideration.

“There is nothing like rubberstamp. Of course, I won’t deny it. I am a President Buhari man. I am. I believe in him, I believe in my party because of the ideals it stand for. But then if you believe in someone, if that person has an issue that he thinks can be better carried out in a certain way other than the way he wants, can’t we say I am suggesting this is how it should be.

“That is to demonstrate that you are really with that person. Because if you allow the direction that may not be right to be followed , the end of it would be catastrophic and that is not showing support.”

“My support for the president must not be misconstrued as going to make the National Assembly a rubberstamp assembly. I supported previous administration that was PDP on issues that I felt was in the national interest and I opposed vehemently those issues that should not be supported.

He maintained that the outcome of the Supreme Court verdict on the elections in Zamfara State would not affect his chances of emerging as Senate President on June 8 when the 9th National Assembly would be inaugurated.

He said he has spoken to 98 per cent of all the senators-elect and they are happy with his aspiration.

Although the APC has picked Mr Lawan as its preferred candidate for the office of the senate president, another member of the party, Ali Ndume, has declared interest in the race.

A former Gombe State governor, Danjuma Goje of the APC, is also believed to still be in the race.

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