By Chimezie Godfrey
Sen Umar said this on Friday in Abuja where he represented the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan at the Public Presentation of the Book titled:’APC’s Litmus Tests, Nigerian Democracy and Politics of Change,’authored by the Director General, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman.
According to him, the motions in the Senate to a very large extent are focused on security, health, economy and education, adding that this means that the 9th Senate sees security, health, economy and education as a priority.
“We understand that in this our government people are impatient, we have too much programs, we have a lot to do, and to do the work, it means that we are going to approve appointments as soon as possible so that those appointments can go back to them.
“Although for any appointment at Senate that the leadership thinks is not appropriate, we will rather quietly withdraw it and solve the problem rather than come into the floor of the house.
“That is why it appears as if we are passing all appointments. Now my definition of rubber stamp, to us in the Senate, the definition of rubber stamp means coorperation, collaboration, and Bi- partisanship.
“That’s why in the 9th Senate, we are a bi-partisan Senate, we live in harmony with the opposition. We ensure that whatever the executive is bringing is in tune with the law, and what works for Nigerians. That is why we easily produce results to make sure that there is no confusion in the Senate.”
“I commend Salihu Lukman for this feat, your efforts to enrich our story and to develop intellectual property,” Sen Umar said.
In his remark the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), and the Executive Governor of Yobe state, Mai Malam Buni commended the Author of the book, adding that it is a wonderful achievement for the party.
He encouraged the people to endeavor to read the book which contained the history of the party.
Buni added that everyone should read the book page by page and paragraph by paragraph to discover what it takes to truly be a progressive.
Also speaking, Senator Abubakar Bagudu said that the litmus test for the party is to do better than where the party was under the former National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun.
He applauded the author of the book saying that he is quite brilliant and nationalistic. According to him, such person must be able to stimulate thinking about the party from time to time, and to remind party members of the need to always hold on to the ideals of the founding fathers of the party.
Bagudu also noted that it is important for the history of the party, as it captured the role of many people who made it possible for the party to win an incumbent party.
He further stressed that the fact that President Buhari was humble in victory and in power is a litmus test for the progression of democracy in Nigeria.
The Former Governor of Edo State, and former National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun said that change comes from people who do something positive when they see that things are not the way they should be, and not those who sit at home and grumble.
According to him, the APC is a very special party, admitting that the party from the onset actually promised change but unfortunately the forces of economics have made it difficult for this to be achieved.
He urged members to make the APC virile even though things are difficult.
Oyegun who expressed worry over the security situation in country, said no progress can be made in the absence of security.
On the issue of restructuring, he urged the party not to give the impression that it is only the military established government that can tamper with the structure of the constitution.
He stressed that it is necessary and vital to the interest and survival of the nation for the issue of restructuring to be addressed.
“The earlier we address this issue, it becomes possible to diffuse the impression that we are insensitive to the plight of the people,”Oyegun stressed.
The Author of the book, Salihu Moh Lukman said one thing that borders him is that the party leaders are in disagreement, but appreciated the fact that the leaders even in disagreement are able to work together.
He stressed that the inability of people to accept defeat is the underlying current of the challenges bedeviling the country.
“Our inability to accept defeat is the underlying current of the challenges facing the nation today.
“I am proud to be a member of the APC. One of the reasons why I feel very proud is that inspite of all the challenges that we face as a party, our leaders are not in denial. There is a clear acceptance that what we have today is not good enough and that there is need for improvement,” he said.
He pointed out that after Mr President’s address in a program in Arise TV yesterday, one of the criticism that came was from the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Olagbondiyan, by asking the APC to stop living by borrowed projects.
He stressed the fact that the PDP has been in crises since 2009, that they failed to acknowledge it, but all they do is to wait for elections.
Lukman commended the leaderdership of the party for allowing them the space to express themselves.