Behold, Nigeria’s Latest Senate President, Ahmad Lawan
In 2015, he contested for the presidency of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, but fate somehow knocked him out despite his glowing popularity among the lawmakers. Four years after his unexpected defeat, Senator. Ahmad Lawan has been given the mantle of Senate leadership by 75 percent of the newly-elected Senators. Being Nigeria’s newest Senate President, BRANDPOWER presents the outstanding track record of Mr. Ahmad Lawan who is notably one of the most experienced and highest serving senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
With 79 votes, Mr. Ahmad Lawan representing Yobe North Constituency emerged as president of the ninth Senate on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Being the second time he would be contesting for the Senate leadership, Sen. Lawan ensured that history never repeated itself. In 2015, the four-time senatorhad emerged as favoured candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the position of Senate President, with a majority in the Senate; he was expected to carry the day. But this was not to be so as fate turned out in a different way.
According to reports, on June 8 2015, the day the formal election for senate president was to be held, while majority of APC senators, about 50, were waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari who had invited them to a meeting with him at the International Conference Centre, Mr. Saraki and other senators of the APC moved into the National Assembly complex, where the police had thrown a cordon to prevent workers and reporters from entering, for the “election” of principal officers.A total of 57 senators loyal to Mr. Saraki, most of which were PDP members, unanimously “elected” him after he was nominated by Senators Dino Melaye and Sanni Yerima. That was how Mr Lawan lost out.
But on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, a groundbreaking support from the new senators rose up to crown Mr. Lawan as the new Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria much to the displeasure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had earlier adopted senator Ali Ndume as its preferred candidate for the senate presidency.
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Being a recipient of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) honour , Mr Lawan brings to the podium a vast pool of parliamentary knowledge spanning a stretch of 20 years as his voyage into the National Assembly began in 1999 when he contested and won his election to represent Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency of Yobe state at the House of Representatives under the platform of the All Progressive Party (APP) which he pioneered as Vice Chairman.
Born on January 12, 1959 in the Gashua town of Yobe State, Mr. Lawan completed his primary education at SabonGari Primary School, Gashua in 1974 and then attended Government Secondary School, Gashua where he got his O’Level in 1979.
He proceeded to the University of Maiduguri where he obtained a Bachelors degree in Geography, in 1984. Lawan obtained a Master’s degree in Remote Sensing from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and a Doctorate degree in Remote Sensing/GIS from Cranfield University, UK, in 1990 and 1996 respectively.
The Yobe state senator had worked in the Yobe state civil service as an Education Officer in the Ministry of Education between 1985 and 1986 before he got a teaching job at the University of Maiduguri, where he lectured for 10 years from 1987 to 1997. Two years later, politics beckoned and in 1999, Lawan was elected on the platform of All Progressive Party (APP) into the House of Representatives, where he chaired House Committees on Education and Agriculture. Elected still on the same party platform in 2003, Mr Lawan was made the chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture in same year and held the position till 2005.From Agriculture, he was appointed to head the Education Committee in 2005 and held this position till the expiration of the 5th House of Reps.
In 2007, the lawmaker was elected a Senator on the platform of the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).In 2009, he became the chairman of the Senate committee on Public Accounts through which he initiated and sponsored the Desertification Control Commission Bill.In 2011, Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan won a second term as Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial District and was re-elected on the platform of the ANPP.
In the 2015 general elections, Lawan won a third term in office under the All Progressives Congress (APC). He was Majority Leader till the 8th Senate was dissolved last week by President Muhammadu Buhari. Being elected for his fourth term in the National Assembly, Senator Lawan returned and vied for the senate Presidency and this time, he won easily in the election held on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 conducted by Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori.
He said: “107 cast their votes. Lawan polled 79 votes while Senator Ali Ndume (his main challenger) polled 28 votes of total 107 votes cast.
“On this strength, Lawan is hereby elected as Senate President.”
Lawan, a Muslim, is married with children and holds the traditional titles of Dan Masanin Bade and Garkuwan Daliban Gamui. His seemingly vast experience in legislative proceedings and his obvious popularity among the federal lawmakers holds great promise for the 9th National Assembly and the nation at large. Nigerians can only hope that he will live up to his high ratings.