Ahead of the inauguration of the 9th Senate and the coming on board of new Presiding officers, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), Wednesday, predicted that the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe) will have 73 Senators across party lines to vote for him.
Addressing journalists Wednesday, in Abuja, Senator Abdullahi who is the spokesman of the Ahmad Lawan for Senate President, said “Let me say very clearly that the nature of parliament is such that you cannot shut anybody out. It is not possible. I want Nigerians who to look at those of us who are the actors and take note of what we say. That is the most important thing.
“I want to submit and assure Nigerians that by the special grace of God, if Senator Lawan gets there, he will run an all inclusive government because the senate is the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The 109 senators are individual senators representing the various senatorial districts in the country. They have inalienable rights to be heard and listened to for government to work for them no matter our differences and no matter the sentiments that we share.
“When we took our oath of office, we pledged not to allow personal interest to override the public interest. Let me say very clearly that our aspiration is to have the senate that works for Nigeria.
“I know that given the track records of Senator Lawan in his 16 years of being in the National Assembly, he understands the feelings of the opposition, because he was one of them before and he will not abuse that privilege.
“The notion from the PDP side that they would be excluded, should be withdrawn forthwith. What we are planning to do is to have a senate that will be for all senators.
“I can confirm to you that on the day of inauguration, Senator Lawan will garner more than two-thirds of the votes. Not less than 73 from both the APC and the PDP. It is a matter of engagement. We don’t need to flaunt those who are with us. We have to respect our colleagues. We are engaging them one-on-one. We want to work together with the executive, because we have just one Federal Government in Nigeria and we must move the country forward.
“We are talking to our colleagues, working on our colleagues who will vote on the floor of the senate on the day of inauguration. By the grace of God, so far so good, we are very much convinced, based on the reception that is being accorded our campaigns, we have been able to reach a lot of our colleagues except those who are outside the country.”