Nigerian lawmaker Senator Ahmed Lawan has said his ambition to be Senate president in the 9th National Assembly is with the intent of making a difference in the legislative arm of government for the citizens.
“I want to go there to make a difference,” Lawan said in an interview published in Daily Trust newspaper.
“We want to make the lives of Nigerians better. We want to ensure that all those programmes this administration is talking about will give the required support.”
Lawan, a Senator representing Yobe North appears to be the anointed candidate of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the seat of Senate president amidst growing interest from other lawmakers in the party.
Another Senator of the APC, Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South senatorial district is also contesting for the seat of the Senate president. He has been at loggerheads with Lawan over the leadership of the 9th National Assembly.
Ndume’s bid for the seat of Senate president has been criticised as going against the party’s wish by some of its members.
Kashim Shettima, who is governor of Borno State where Ndume hails from is also not in support of his “kinsman” emerging Nigeria’s Senate president.
The governor argued that Ndume is not a match for Lawan in terms of experience in legislative duties.
But Lawan believes his acclaimed support from the leadership of the party and other senators was not by chance but by his experience and know-how of the legislative arm of Nigerian government.
“For me, the experience you garner when stay in the legislature is the most priceless factor you have when it comes to what you do as a leader in the National Assembly.”
“I’ve watched very closely how everything has been done over the years. I will be the longest serving member of the National Assembly in the 9th Senate having been in the National Assembly for 20 years.”
Lawan, however, said he is not bothered about other senators from the APC contesting for the seat of the Senate president. He said such should be encouraged in democracy.
“This is democracy. Whoever feels he has something to offer and runs, I think the environment is democratic where people can run. I’m not a stranger to contests,” Lawan said.
Lawan said he anticipates cooperation of other lawmakers of the country to lead the National Assembly in the interest of Nigeria if he becomes Senate president.
“You don’t hit the gavel when it’s clear that the majority is against something and you’ll say the majority won’t have it.”
“When we differ as leaders, we should have a mechanism through which we should be able to come to an understanding and agreement on the basis of what the national interest is,” Lawan said.