Lawan Sponsored No Bill as Senate President, Says Group

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The Executive Director of OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, a legislative performance monitoring organisation, Okey Epia, has revealed that the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan has not sponsored one single bill as a lawmaker in the ninth Senate that commenced in 2019.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, ahead of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria, Epia urged Nigerians to vote those standing for election on basis of merit

He said Lawan was rather known by Nigerians as the chief enforce of the desires of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Epia’s revelations came against the backdrop of a survey by his organisation which indicated that 0.23 per cent of the 4,223 candidates vying for the 469 elective seats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives have requisite knowledge of the statutory roles of the parliament in lawmaking, representation and oversight functions.

Out of the figure, 1,101 were senatorial candidates with 1,008 as males and 92 as females.
Similarly, the House of Representatives has a total number of 3,122 candidates with 2,832 as males while 288 were females.
Lawan has been in the National Assembly since the return of democracy in 1999.

He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1999 to represent the Bade/Jakusko Constituency of Yobe State, reelected in 2003 before successfully running to become Yobe North Senator in 2007.
Since then, Lawan has been elected back to back and later became the Senate President in 2019, after a successful tenure as the Senate Leader between 2015 and 2019.

Recently, the Supreme Court declared him the winner of the 2023 primary election of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) against the aspiration of Bashir Machina, who won the ticket at the time Lawan was engrossed with his presidential pursuit.
Epia also urged the media to go beyond reporting the drama of the polls, the winners and inform the electorate about the performance of the lawmakers especially those seeking reelection.

He said: “We infuse legislative election into our reportage and keep away or do less of the drama. Okay, you are watching out for if Lawan is going to be floored by PDP because of the Machina affair, that is dramatic.

“That is fine. It is political reportage but are we also able to make people know that Lawan didn’t sponsor a single bill all through this 9th National Assembly? And that’s not excusable because he is a presiding officer, because we know his opposite member here has sponsored 27 bills.
“So, being a presiding officer is not an excuse why he didn’t sponsor a single bill. People know him to be the chief enforcer of the President’s desires in the National Assembly and he has been quoted that much.

“He has not refuted that anything Mr. Buhari wants, he will get it. Mr. Buhari is always right.”

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