By Cecilia Ijuo
The Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has indicated interest to contest for the seat of President of the Senate in the 9th National Assembly.
Lawan, who made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja, promised to be bi-partisan, if elected.
He said the ability of principal officers to carry everybody along had always been the secret of legislative chambers to delivering meaningfully on their mandate.
He said he was mindful of disagreement sometimes in the course of legislative activities due to party affiliation and other factors.
However, he said that everything should be done in the interest of the people, adding that, “we are senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, even though coming from different parts of Nigeria.
“When we legislate, we legislate for the entire country and therefore we need to remain united and focused.
“I was in a position for 16 years from 1999 to 2015 before I became part of the ruling party; I am glad, I thank God for that.
“But even as an opposition, we knew where we opposed the government and where we cooperated with them,’’ the legislator said.
According to him, every legislator works in the interest of the people not based on sentiments.
“For instance, will there be any legislator who will oppose any legislation that will enhance the performance of our armed forces or the Police to provide security?
“No! Whether you are All Progressives Congress (APC) or People Democratic Party or Young Progressive Party, we have the same people to serve.
“So, we will work to ensure that we achieve and attain that desired unity within the chamber. There will be equity and fairness in our affairs.
“I am sure that once we are able to unite around national interests we will contribute meaningfully to governance’’.
On Legislature, Executive relationship, Lawan said while the separation of powers was designed to ensure checks and balances among the arms of government, the ultimate goal was to serve the people.
He emphasised that to achieve cordial relationship with the executive, the lawmakers ought to work in unison.
Lawan said that there was a need for continued consultation, coordination and partnership among the two arms of government for better result.
“I always say that the Constitution provides for separation of powers and I always define separation of powers may be unorthodox but I believe in that.
“The separation of powers does not amount to the independence of government.
“It is the specialisation of the arms of government. The executive cannot function without the legislature and the legislature needs to work with the executive in a cordial manner.
“However, that does not take away that special function of oversight. It does not take away ensuring that what we do in the legislature is to support the executive.
“Who says we will never disagree with the executive; by constitutional design, we are meant to disagree, hold different perspectives from time to time on issues.
“But when we disagree, I always say, we should sit down and look at issues and take a decision that is in national interest, ” he said.
Lawan, who is senator-elect under the governing APC, promised to respect the wish of the party, should the position be zoned to a region other than the North-East.
He said, “I am a loyal party man. I will respect the decisions of my leaders and my party.”
Lawan, who represents Yobe North is vying for the position for the second time. In 2015, the APC endorsed him following zoning of the position of the President of the Senate to the North-East.
However, he did not make it as Dr Bukola Saraki emerged President of the Senate though against his party’s wish. (NAN)