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Opinion: Lawan’s 9th Senate leadership: One year of synergy with executive arm for unequal development and political evolution



Nigerian Senate president ahmed lawan
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9th Senate: One year after, Synergising with executive arm for unequal development and political evolution of Nigeria

The politics sorrounding the current leadership of both the Senate and the House of Representatives arms of the current National Assembly, started from the last 8th Assembly, when the two current leaders were positioned for election before the turn of events at both Chambers of the Assembly.

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But, for a proverbial belief, that destiny can only be delayed, but not be denied, both leaders, Distinguish Senator Ahmed Lawan, and Rt Honourable Olufemi Gbajabiamila emerged as the current leaders in the 9th Assembly, after a keenly contested and in house manouvering of opposing members, to repeat what happened in 2015.

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For the current leadership of the Senate headed by Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, the experience of lawmaking began since the return of democracy in 1999, as a member of the Federal House of Representatives for three consecutive times, and left as one of the principal officers of the lower house, before returning to the red chamber to continue in the leadership of legislative arm of goverment of Nigeria, representing the good people of Yobe North. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

For the Senate President, his ascension to the red chamber was another opportunity to contribute its own quota to the Nigerian project, but restored confidence in the leadership of the legislative arm through robust presentation of laws, approvals and other emergency or exigency of the Goverment that will attract rapid socio- economic and political development of Nigeria.

As Senate leader in the 8th Assembly and a highly favored to pilot the affairs of the red chamber, before the turn of events, Senator Ahmad Lawan’s leadership initiaves and qualities were already felt, from his well thought out and organised business at the red chamber, between when he became the Senate President and his previous responsibility.

Senator Lawan has chaired many important committees and ad-hoc committees of both chambers, as well as led an important delegation within and outside the shores of Nigeria, to ensure good governance, synergy between the lawmakers and other ingredients of a stable democratic practice.

It will be recalled that during the turbulence days that characterised the leadership of the 8th Assembly, even though, he was shortchangeg, it is on record that he led several peace delegates of both the Senate leadership as well as the All Progressives Congress, his party to mediate between the Presidency, party leadership to maintain uninterrupted programmes of the red chamber.

Senator Ahmad Lawan in all ramifications stood firm on the need for an uninterrupted and unimpeded independence of the legislative arm, and by extension all other arms of government that brings about seamless progress in the activities of the National Assembly.

On his assumption of duty after his election and inauguration in June, the Senate President’s resolute to transform all facets of the upper house was not negotiable, as his first notable assignment was to ensure early budget defence and passage all year round, a feat that had eluded both houses since the return to our democratic practice in 1999.

He had broken the usual practice of allowing previous years budget run to half of another year, before its passage, as Nigeria now runs a budget in the normal period of January to December, instead of the previous January to June the preceding year.

This unique achievement of the current leadership of the Senate has also sent a red signal to all agencies of goverrment, who took advantage of the obvious lapses from the legislative arm to involve in round tripping of budget provision and all other sharp practices, that affects the smooth runnings of goverrment.

It had also further put on its toes goverrment agencies on early presentation of budget proposals and defence, as well as assisted the executive arm into normal budget presentation ceremony sustain, towards the end of the year, to adhere strictly to the new order.

In addition to this unrivalled feat, Senate President no longer see requests from the executive arm as an opportunity to feast and altercate needlessly, but to harmonise any grey areas to allow the country to move forward, on the pedestal of more developement, hence it had held emergency sessions for consideration and approvals of pressing goverment requests and obligations, to ensure smooth and uninterrupted leadership to Nigerians.

He restored utter confidence of all members of the current 9th Assembly, not minding party,religion, creed and extraction as it was obviously portrayed in the 8th Senate, that militated against leadership, as some members were seen as partners in progress and others are seen as anti progress of the previous order.

It is no longer an era of gale of suspension and reprimand, as all the members of the red chamber work on the same page, with quality presentation of motions, bills, and other issues of national importance.

Senator Ahmad Lawan’s leadership saw the need to rejig the affairs of the National Assembly, by quickly reconstituted the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), and other agencies to drive the policies and programmes of goverment and its agencies.

The cordial relationship between the Executive and the Legislative arm of goverment, had been the major achievement of the current leadership of the Senate, as some members no longer use the opportunity to amass fame, affluence and popularity.

It is no longer a sales outlets for the media houses, who used the previous experience as an opportunity to flash both objective and subjective reports on the impasse, in both the red chamber and the other organs of goverment for consecutive four years.

The uneasy calm that prevailed the previous 8th senate was a major stumbling block, to the developement of all facets of Nigerian socio-economic and political development.

Senator Lawan’s leadership douse the usual tension between the major two arms of government and created a working relationship without interferences between its officials.

The current leadership prioritise budget defence of the members of the red chamber and oversight functions, and rejig the Constituency projects with a robust supervision template in place to drive the policy thrust of the National Assembly members .

Lawan’s efforts towards members delivering Constituency projects in their various constituencies is unwavering, and of utmost concern which was demonstrated by his unalloyed committment in his immediate Constituency of Yobe North, to address the biting dearth of social services, empowerment, skill development and acquisition,as well as employment opportunities.

The enhanced working relationships between the lower and the upper chamber had stabilize efforts of both the National Assembly, Judiciary and the Executive arms of government in running the affairs of the country.

The current leadership of the Senate under Lawan had embarked on transparent oversight functions of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of goverment to improve the efforts of the Nigerian President, both on policy formulation and implementation.

These laudable policies and programmes of the current 9th Assembly, had transformed the four years lame duck style of leadership adopted by the 8th Senate, as just one year, alot has been achieved beyond the last four years of the previous leadership of the Senate.

This has resulted in smooth policy implementation, initiation and restoration of confidence in the leadership arm of Nigeria project.

In the next three years, Senator Ahmad Lawan’s leadership disposition will attract more developement and dividends of democracy to the betterment of all Nigerians.

Abubakar Yusuf, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja


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