Senate: I’m not bothered about rubber-stamp tag— Lawan
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has said he is not bothered that the Senate under him earned the negative tag of ‘rubber-stamp parliament’ from Nigerians.
The senator representing Yobe North made the declaration on Wednesday at a valedictory interactive session with journalists.
He submitted that part of his legislative agenda was to maintain a warm relationship with the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration rather than indulge in bickerings and muscle flexing which he noted could not have served the larger interest of Nigerians.
He said: “The relationship between us and the Executive has been described in so many ways. But everything has a price. If you don’t do well, it has a price but this national assembly, no matter what anybody will call it we did what we should do to help the Executive. “President Buhari assented to 101 bills. Some have come to reform our economy, the petroleum industry, nd the electoral process. So far I can identify those things that we have done for the country.
“We have to do our work, we have done so many things in good ways and made our people happy, but as humans, we must have done some things that Nigerians don’t like, but on the whole, we did our work well.”
He also expressed concern over the exit of lawmakers who lost their party ticket and others who lost at the general elections and could not return to the Red Chamber.
“If wishes were horses, I would have loved that the turnover of lawmakers should be minimal. Each time 70% is dropped, capacity development would start all over again, but that’s the choice of Nigerians.
“But the new lawmakers would be men and women of capacity and they would want to make their mark.”
He attributed the success of the ninth Senate to his leadership bi-partisan agenda.
“During my campaigns, I said we will run a Senate that worked for Nigerians and we stick to that. We started very well. After the election, we said we would be bi-partisan and that helped us to be more effective and focused.
“Yes, we had disagreements but not much. On the whole, we have been able to work together as one legislature, irrespective of party affiliation. We are citizens of Nigeria, even though our parties are different. We did everything to move our country forward.
“I want to say that our unity and partnership and understanding of one another, made it possible for us to achieve much. In fact, in all my stay here, I have never seen a Senate that achieved much.
“We changed the budget cycle and to the glory of God, we passed the budget before the end of December. It makes us feel proud.”