By Odimegwu Onwumere
As the Yobe North lawmaker, Senator Ahmed Lawan has emerged President of the 9th Senate, crossing the margin of 54 votes needed to win the election today, June 11 2019, there are little things we need to look into.
It’s not about defeating Senator Ali Ndume of Borno-South senatorial district who polled less than 28 votes, with 109 Senate seats but only 107 were present at the inauguration. It’s not about the jubilation by APC senators, as Lawan garnered 79 votes.
While this treatise was not meant to debase the success of Lawan or uphold the failure of Ndume, one thing we should consider is whether the senate would be independent referring to the three tiers of my elementary study of government: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
I’m not sure why some people were jubilating that the emergence of Lawan would become the death of Biafra, PDP, but “Up, Up, Up for Buhari”. Whatever this means. Some believed that with Lawan’s win some anti-corruption laws can be passed.
Some of the people who believed in this were of the view that the senate which Dr. Bukola Saraki was its president carpeted such laws. How true is this notion? Remember that Saraki separated the senate from the executive and this does not mean that he was opposed to Rule of Law. No.
I think Saraki wanted a senate where Due Process was supposed to be sacrosanct, and not buying into Buhari’s fascism in a democracy. Or, as Chief Olusegun Obasanjo once put it when he held sway as President of Nigeria — “Do or Die” politics.
While congratulations were renting the air for Senator Lawan, we must not fail to congratulate with Senator Ndume for his autonomous mind.
Ndume was stoical and never allowed himself to be pushed around. He was accommodating not to be a ‘yes boy’ in the house. The later is where the fear lies with the emergence of Lawan as senate president. Is he going to be a ‘yes boy’ or independent minded like many have given the later to Ndume?
Let us believe that Lawan will keep to his campaign promises that the budget would be passed within 3 months in each year. He also promised that the budget would run from January to December in each calendar year. Lawan also promised that he would promote anti-corruption, anti-unemployment and restore the economy laws.
Nigerians have heard of such promises in the past that later turned bogus. It is not about this win but about the senate becoming independent which was how it should be. Let us pray that the laws Lawan will be interested in passing not be those of Fulani herdsmen and the Miyetti Allah’s move to recolonise Nigeria by planting Fulani across the country. In a nutshell, let’s pray that the Senate under Lawan will not be an additional-room of the Buhari presidency, which was not what the senate under Saraki represented.
June 11 2019.