Leading aspirant for the presidency of the 9th Senate, Sen. Ahmed Lawan yesterday denied insinuations that he was in the race to ensure a rubber stamp senate.
He maintained that rather than subjugate the Senate to such a status, he would guarantee a robust executive, Senate relations that Nigerians would be proud of.
Lawan who was accompanied by several senators including Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi, Sen Sabi Aliyu, Sen Barau Jubrin and senator-elect, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, explained that it was unthinkable for people to suggest that it was possible to have a Senate where minorities or any senator for that matter would be denied opportunity to express his or her opinion.
According to him: “Our mission in the 9th Senate is to have a Senate that works for Nigerians; Nigerians need a senate that will deliver in all its ramifications, that will work to ensure improved security, all inclusive economy, maximum returns from national funds, a society with reduced corruption, a society where people live in peace with one another, a senate with will carry along opposition political parties.
“Very soon, we shall engage all the senators so we can tell each person who we are and how we can cooperate and deliver dividends of democracy for the people who elected us.
“Ours will be a Senate that will not discriminate on the basis of political party. We also believe that the National Assembly being a bicameral legislature should collaborate and deliver better dividends for Nigerians”.
He stated that he would guarantee that differing opinions without undermining the executive.
“We believe that the executive arm of government under President Muhammadu Buhari has noble programmes for the nation and even though perspectives may differ, we are going to resolve such constructively.
We shall ensure there are no legislative or executive recklessness, and we shall carry out the oversight duties assigned to us in the constitution.
“I pledge that the NASS under our watch will be a NASS that will conduct it’s business transparently and openly”.
He dismissed insinuations that the contest is a do-or-die affair, pointing out that when he contested for the office in 2015 and lost, he remained undeterred and went ahead and served creditably in all the positions offered him both as chairman of the defence committee and as Senate leader.
He however promised to resolve crises inherent in the passage of budgets in recent times, pointing out that he intends to work to have a time framed budget defence, to ensure that budgets get passed within three months.
“We shall propose that no minister or head of Parastatal should leave the country except on health ground except he or she has defended his budget.
It is our hope that before the Christmas break, the budget would have been sent to Mr. President for assent. We shall attempt to make the budget cycle Jan to December because it will translate massive infrastructural development in the country,” he said.
Leading Sen. Lawan’s campaign team was Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi, who told journalists that his supporters had immediately after the Presidential and National Assembly elections approached the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to canvass support for Sen. Lawan contrary to the insinuations that he was imposed by the party.