Stakeholders in Abakaliki have tasked Sen. Ahmed Lawan, new Senate President of the 9th Senate to enthrone a robust legislative and executive relationship.
The stakeholders, who spoke on Tuesday in Abakaliki, described the emergence of Lawan as victory for democracy.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that Lawan (APC-Yobe North), polled 79 votes to defeat Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South), who scored 28 votes to emerge the new President of the Senate.
Lawan’s victory was announced by the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori, in Abuja on Tuesday.
He added that 107 out of 109 senators cast their votes.
The stakeholders urged Lawan and other senators to join hands with the executive to end insecurity in Nigeria through appropriate laws and resolutions.
Dr Paul Okorie, former Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transportation and a chieftain of the APC in Ebonyi, said that Lawan’s victory was a good development and reflection of the party’s position.
He said that Lawan’s leadership would usher in an era of harmonious relationship between the legislature and executive arms of government.
‘‘There will no longer be the usual ‘dog and cat’ fight; rancour, bickering and muscle-flexing between the Presidency and the National Assembly, which slowed down governance in the last administration.
‘‘Lawan and other principal officers of the Senate who emerged should see their victories as a call to service and should therefore not be carried away.
‘‘The destiny of the nation is now in their hands and in the hands of Mr President and must therefore work harmoniously to move the country forward.
‘‘They should be interested in making good laws that will uplift the lives of the people of Nigeria, advance the cause of good governance and address economic challenges facing the country,’’ Okorie said.
He described Lawan as an experienced lawmaker who would deploy his wealth of experience in legislative process to advance the nation’s democracy.
‘‘Lawan has been in the Senate since the beginning of the new democratic dispensation and he is not going to be a push-over because he is going to ensure that the independence of the legislature is not compromised,’’ he added.
Prof. Eugene Nweke, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Ebonyi State University (EBSU), said that the emergence of Lawan as the new President of the Senate marked a new beginning in the nation’s legislative process.
He said that Lawan emerged through popular votes and through a keenly contested election unlike what happened during the inauguration of the 8th Senate.
He said that there was a consensus across party lines in favour of Lawan, stressing that the election also provided room for competition between APC candidates.
He said: ‘‘The election of Lawan marks a new beginning in our legislative process; a new beginning in the sense that the election was built on competition and voting was rancour-free.
‘‘A new beginning because the voting showed a lot of unity of purpose because unlike before where there was division among political parties. This time around there was a consensus across party lines that led to his election.
‘‘It was also a new beginning that despite Lawan’s endorsement by his party, that there was tolerance showed by other political parties is a reflection that our democracy is appreciating,’’ Nweke said.
He urged the new leadership of the Senate to look beyond the election, arguing that the concern should be on the challenges facing the nation.
‘‘There is concern of national unity; there is security concern, there is concern of bad economy.
‘‘So, let him build bridges that will accommodate and integrate other ethnic groups that have argued that they are marginalised in the process of nation building.”