Senator Ahmad Lawan, a senator from Yobe North and the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a man of destiny. An erudite Nigerian, a geographer of note, Lawan began his educational career in Sabon Gari Primary School, Gashua in 1974 before gaining admission to Government Secondary School, Gashua all in Yobe state where he got his O’Level in 1979. He proceeded to University of Maiduguri to obtain a bachelor degree in Geography in 1984. He then went to Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna state for his Master’s degree in Remote Sensing, and PhD in same from Canfield University (UK) in 1996.
He began his working career at the Yobe state civil service as education officer in the state ministry of education in 1985-86. He later got a teaching job at University of Maiduguri where he lectured for ten years from 1987-1997 before venturing into politics.
The senate president was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1999 where he served as house committee chairman on education and agriculture at various times. As a respected representative, he was a member of the joint National Assembly committee that reviewed the 1999 Constitution. As a true representative of his people, he spoke and stood against the establishment of Kafin Zaki Dam in 2009. His reason for refusal of the dam was not a deliberate act to wish away development for his people but that development should be for increase and not ill wind that blows no one any good. When he defended his stance on the floor of the green chamber, the law maker told his colleagues that Riga Dam and Challawa Gorge Dam had already reduced water flow drastically and Jama’are River had become the only source of water in Yobe River. He graphically enumerated that the dams had caused intense poverty, increased desert encroachment, migration and conflicts between farmers and herdsmen.
Lawan was elected senator in 2007 on the platform of All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and served as senate committee chairman on Public Account in 2009. He initiated and sponsored Desertification Control Commission Bill. He was re-electe in 2015 this time on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Ahmed Lawan was senate majority leader in 2016 before the dissolution of the 8th Senate.
When APC took over the affairs of the country as ruling party in 2015, the National Assembly was riddled with controversies as the party alleged that the principal officers of the 8th National Assembly were sponsored by opposition to cause disaffection between the executive and the legislature to frustrate the government on their campaign promises to the people.
Upon re-election in the 2019 general election, the party went into real work to bring compatriots and party loyalists to let Nigerians and indeed the world to know that what the people saw and witnessed in the first tenure was a deliberate scheming by dissident and desperate politicians to discredit the ruling party. After diligent search by the ruling party for who can bail the cat, the lot fell on Senator Ahmed Lawan.
The ruling party did not just come to the conclusion of anointing a favoured lawmaker, but antecedent of the Yobe North senator attests that he is a party man and that his loyalty and belief in the ruling party speak volume for him. For instance, when he was given the assignment as senate ad-hoc committee chairman on Southern Kaduna crisis and other troubled spots in the North, his record was legendary. This was not alone; also as he served as chairman senate committee on defense, his performance was near perfection, if not it. Senate President Lawan is a man who talks less but speaks through his results and achievements.
While he held forth as chairman senate ad-hoc committee on Southern Kaduna, the distance between peace and the people was just between thin lines. There were times that speculations were rife that security agents were complicit in the serial killings in the area, many adduced government complacency for the killings alluding ethnic cleansing, but Senator Lawan through his indefatigable performances, was able to bring that under control. No wonder that when the search was on for the ruling party to find a man for the job of the 9th senate president, Senator Ahmed Lawan’s name refused to diminish.
Those APC top echelons who found Senator Lawan suitable for the job may have probably seen in him a man who never lost a fight. For instance, he defeated a sitting senator to represent Yobe North in the red chamber in 2007.
On his way to the senate presidency, the only stubborn senator who declined to step down for him in the battle for the plum job may not have have known that Senator Lawan is a man who climbs any mountain without blinking an eye no matter how steep. Lawan was made senate majority leader, taking the red carpet off the feet of those who decline to make him the sole candidate for the contest. However, when the chips were down, Lawan proved that reward for hard work is not earned on the pages of newspapers but through diligent and persistent job.
As the senate president settles for the job, Nigerians expect that what were the cogs for the 8th senate because of vendetta and power game will give for cohesion. For instance, the issue of late passage of appropriation bills and padding will now find its way to the dustbin. The hydra headed trouble of insecurity will be attended to with a permanent solution.
As an achiever, Senator Ahmed Lawan holds the traditional titles of Dan Masanin Bade and Garkuwan Daliban Gumui. He is a recipient of national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). The senate president has attended scores of courses both at home and overseas, among them are the 3rd Westminster Workshop on Public Accounts Committee (House of Parliament), London, Oxford Strategic Leadership (OSLP) Programme (SAID Business School University of Oxford, Professional Development Course on Canadian Taxation System Carlton University, Managing Terms for Innovation and Success Programme (Stamford University School of Business) etc.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan, having seen politicking and chicanery at both chambers of the National Assembly, first at the House of Representatives and then the senate, the senate president knows he cannot fail his fatherland, the party that gave him the auspices of election and the electorate, hence the mission to rescue Nigeria.
Habeeb writes from
No 4, Kagarko Road, Ungwan Dosa,