The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has said he has learnt from his predecessors like David Mark and Bukola Saraki. He also said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had signed more bills into law than any other President since 1999.
Lawan said this on Saturday night in his vote of thanks after being awarded ‘The Sun Political Icon of the Year 2021’ at the newspaper’s 19th annual awards held in Lagos.
This was according to a statement issued on Sunday by the Special Adviser (Media) to Lawan, Ola Awoniyi, titled, ‘What makes 9th National Assembly stand out from previous Assemblies – Lawan bags Sun Political Icon of the Year 2021 award’.
Lawan stated, “Let me say that I have learnt a lot from one very outstanding presiding officer, and his name is Senator David Mark. He was Senate President for two terms – the 6th and 7th Assemblies. And of course, the 13th Senate President, my brother, and my friend, Senator Bukola Saraki, who was here for this occasion. I worked with him as a Senate Leader. He made contributions too as the previous Senate President did.”
The Senate President stated that the uniqueness of the 9th National Assembly is its ability to “conquer most complex and critical legislations that had either defied passage or assent.”
Lawan dedicated the award to the past presiding officers of the National Assembly, giving them credit for laying the foundation for what the current Assembly had been able to achieve in less than three years.
He said, “I am sure the award has been given to me because I have been in the legislature or the National Assembly for more than two decades and that is to say that the legislature has been recognised at this stage.
“I’m so pleased and delighted that the Sun Newspaper is able to sieve through and see what the other arm of government, the legislature, is doing because more often than not, the legislature does not receive the kind of attention that it deserves from citizens.
“For us in the 9th National Assembly, we believe that service to our fatherland, service to our people, service to different Senatorial Districts and Federal constituencies is paramount and there is nothing more than that.”
The Senate President added, “Thank God in less than three years, the 9th National Assembly has done tremendously well in the area of important, critical, and crucial legislation for national development.
“I have dedicated this award to previous presiding officers since Nigeria started as a democracy because whatever we have achieved in the 9th National Assembly, there must have been some foundation set by others before we came on board.
“I, therefore, dedicate this award to the previous presiding officers of the Senate and presiding officers of the House of Representatives.”
Lawan also applauded the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for his cooperation with the current National Assembly to get things done.
He said, “Let me also pay tribute to President Muhammadu Buhari because for us in the 9th Assembly, if not because we have the buy-in of the President to ensure that the legislature works very cordially with the executive arm of government, all the legislations wouldn’t have been assented to. And this President assented to more bills than all the previous Presidents since the Fourth Republic started.
“Therefore, we believe that the legislature and the executive arm of government must always work together. They can disagree but not to cause friction to the extent that citizens will not receive the services from the government.”
The Senate President thanked the founder of the Sun Newspaper, also the Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu.
He said, “This Chief Whip does not spare anyone, even the Senate President. He whips everybody. We want to thank you for being a very progressively minded person, very practical person, and very reliable person. You have brought experience; you have supported this 9th Senate to achieve stability, productivity, and the kind of relationship that you will always like to see in the parliament.”
“For Nigerians, I want to see the cup as half full. The cup is half full, not half empty. I don’t want to see it as half empty. Yes, we are faced with numerous challenges, but it is also true and it is an established fact that we have also achieved a lot in the last seven years. We can surmount those challenges when we unite and fight against them.”