Ahmad Lawan, Senate Leader
Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan says the National Assembly is more focused on upholding national interests than pursuing personal or partisan agenda of impeachment of a member.
Lawan, who spoke on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the legislators were concerned about approving outstanding requests from President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking on the impeachment threat against Senate President Bukola Saraki, Lawan said that the National Assembly would continue to remain focused on issues and leave out partisan interests.
The impeachment threat has been dangling on Saraki since his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
“We must be nationalistic; we must put national interest above individual, parochial or partisan interests.
“We definitely have to bury our hatchets for us to work for Nigeria and Nigerians and perhaps that might have informed the disappointment of many people that thought there will be crisis in the National Assembly.
“Let me also say that disagreements are usual; in fact, they are very practical components of any parliament; so, it is traditional and usual for us to disagree; for now our focus is on national interest.
“The National Assembly is a Nigerian parliament; therefore, the best thing to do is to ensure that Nigeria gets a very good deal and for now the good deal is to ensure that outstanding requests by Mr President are approved by the National Assembly.
“I think the national interest for now overrides all other interests,’’ he said.
The Senate Leader said that upon resumption from recess on Oct. 9, the lawmakers concentrated on the request of the President for the funding of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of 2019 general elections.
Lawan said that the president’s request of N189 billion for INEC activities of 2019 was approved.
He said that the committee on appropriation also invited the heads of security agencies to come and defend the request the President made on their behalf for funding of their operations during the conduct of elections of 2019.
“We also had the referral of the request of Mr president for approval for the foreign loan component of the 2018 appropriation; that is about 2.78 billion dollars Euro bond.
“So, we have gone full blast consciously and purposefully to ensure that Mr President gets what he requested. We have lost time already.
“Some of the issues were requested before we went on recess; we passed the confirmations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor and the ICPC Governing Board yesterday.
“We are determined to continue to do this throughout this period.
“Our intention is to ensure that Mr President does not lack due to the inactivity of the National Assembly.
“That whatever he requests, the fundamental aspects especially must be attended to; this is our determination both as APC Senate caucus and as a National Assembly,” he said. (NAN)
Ahmad Lawan, Senate Leader