By Suleiman Umaru
Ahmed Lawan, an indigene of Borno state and the Senate President , which is the third most powerful position in the hierarchy of Authority in the government has every reason to be unhappy. This is because of the circumstances that brought him to power forcing Nigerians and the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Senators to have described him as an ”Executive Rubber -Stamp”.
Note that President Muhammadu Buhari and Adam Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of All Progressive Congress, APC, had mobilised the Presidency and the former ministers including the party National Working Committee, NWC, to work on the party Senators to ensure that they vote enmasse for the selected Candidates to clinch the various leadership positions of the Senate without conceding any Opposition to the PDP.
Lai Mohammed, the Kwarra state born former minister of Information and Culture , was said to be a link person between the Presidency and the Lawmakers. The former minister was said to have put a close tab on the Red Chamber LAPC legislators to ensure that the deal reached on the eve of the election to elect the Senate leadership was kept. The Presidency and the party leadership had penciled down Lawan to be the Senate President and Omo -Agege, from Delta state, south-south geo-political region to be the Deputy Senate President. Omo-Agege had worked for the executive in the 8th Senate to form a strong opposition against Bukola Saraki, then Senate President.
The party NWC at the instance of the Katsina state born Nigerian President had forced Danjuma Goje, a former governor of
Prior to the party NWC, discussion with Goje, the President had earlier held a closed door meeting with him at the Presidential Villa where they talked over matter . The President was said to have prevailed on him to drop his ambition and throw his weight behind Senator Lawn to emerge as the Senate President, assuring him of fair treatment in the red Chamber. He has no option but to back out and started Canvassing for votes for Lawan.
Recall that in 2015, Buhari, had Lawan , in mind to be the Senate President but was outsmarted by S
An angry Buhari had seen it as a Coup against the party as
Political watchers believe that the emergence of Lawan as the President of the 9th Senate, he would forward his name aagins to the Senate for Confirmation as a substantive Chairman of the Commission. He may have his reason for doing so. This is because the APC , Senators who are in the majority would not hesitate in giving the approval.
The NJC, Spokes Person said the Commission took the decision to recommend Mohammad for appointment as the country ‘s substantive CJN , on Wednesday at a meeting presided over by Justice Umaru Abdullahi, a former President of the Court of Appeal.
The President was said to have used the opportunity to ask the Senators to give him the go ahead to appont 15 Special Advisers. Lawn, may have given people room to believe that he is an Executive rubber- stamp by quickly reading the President’s letters at a plenary session on Thursday.
Political watchers believe that the President has no reason to worry about the approval of his requests by the Lawan led Senate . They noted that the requests are as good as having been approved since the ruling APC have the majority in the Senate. Already, the Senate President has made it clear to those that cares to listen that he believes in ”Buhari’s vision” and the philosophy of the APC. Recall that he did not hesitate in telling his Colleagues during his Campaigns to become the Senate President that he is ”close to the President and believe in his cause but would never be a rubber -stamp.
Talking tough when a group of women Parliamentarians led by Senator Joy Emordi, from Anambra state, visited him in his office recently, he would want Nigerians to erase from their mind that he will be a ”yes man”, insisting that ”our problems as Nigerians are Nigerian problems” which would require a ”Nigerian solution”.
It is therefore not very surprising why he had said that the Executive and the Legislative arm of government must have to ”work together”. According to him, the” Lawmakers are there for the executive to move this country forward”. He may have seen that Nigerians still see him as an executive rubber-stamp going by such a response to questions to questions posed to him about his closeness to the President and how he would go about his duties without being influenced that he had volunteered that the Lawmakers would Challenge the executive in a manner that is” decent and decisive” . He may have alluded to the Saraki led 8th Senate , whose challenge of the Buhari led executive arm of government was confrontational.
He had made it clear that the era of Confrontation between the executive and the legislature is over. Lawan , who could not hide his feelings to the women Parliamentarians had assured that his major concern is to ”build a relationship that has mutual respect , for each arm of government” in order to enhance their Collaboration and Partnership ” to ensure good governance. He admitted that ”it is not going to be easy”.
He may have sent a message to those wishing to be appointed as ministers that it is not going to be business as usual. ”As a minister , you have to your ministerial job well”, he said. Unlike what obtained in Buhari’s first term in office where political appointees behaved anyhow, he promised ” we will make government appointees to do what is required of them ” in the next four years.
Omo-Agege, the Deputy Senate President, may have spoken the mind of the Senate President when he said they would” do everything within their power to help the President to deliver on his next level agenda to Nigerians in the next four years”. he may have spoken with Authority as the President had said that those who would make the ministerial list were those known to him personally and who believe in his agenda of moving the country to the next level.
There are fears in political circles that with the emergence of Lawan and Omo-Agege, who were regarded as Buhari’s loyalists, as both Senate President and Deputy Senate President, major policy decisions about the running of the country that requires the Senate approval, may be taken in the Presidential Villa, for the Senators to approve without hesitation. ” This is what Buhari has turned Nigeria into : his” personal estate”, an aggrieved Nigeria remarked.
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