The senator representing Bauchi Central, Hamma Isa Misau has cautioned those blaming the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, for the inability of Senator Ahmed Lawan to emerge as majority leader of the Eighth Senate as proposed by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Rather than blame Saraki, Misau explained that Lawan did not do his home work well adding that even members of the North-east caucus of the APC in the senate overwhelmingly voted against APC’s imposition of Lawan over the preferred candidate Senator Ali Ndume as the leader.
He added that out of the 11 Senators in the caucus, eight voted for Ndume while three voted for Lawan and that since politics is a game of numbers, the candidate with majority of the Senators’ votes emerged leader.
Misau noted that the explanation became necessary in view of the belief that the Senate President deliberately antagonized the party leadership by refusing to name Lawan and the others into leadership positions, thereby favouring a ‘winner takes all’ arrangement.
“Many people do not know or understand what happened then. Truly, many of us prefer Ndume to Lawan. The fact that Ndume contested for the post of Deputy Senate President and at that time and he sought the support of most senators made it easy for him to get our support.
“In any case, Senator Lawan never told anybody that he was interested in the post of majority leader. We therefore voted for a person who actually lobbied and sought for our support. So, we take responsibility for our decisions. Nobody should blame the Senate President,” he said.
The Senator further added that many people erroneously over-rate the powers of the Senate President in making certain decisions in the Senate.
“The Senate President is just first among equals. He represents one district like every other senator. He is not like a state Governor or President who has executive powers and discretion to select ministers and commissioners. The Senate President must always do what the Senators want and must even carry along his colleagues at all times. Dr. Saraki is very popular among us today because he is always respecting our opinion and usually doing what we want.
“He has a way of relating to all of us as equals that we are and trying to aggregate the overall interest and position of majority in taking decisions. So, when we said we wanted Ndume as Senate majority leader, he could not have done otherwise. Saraki has nothing against Lawan and I think, my brother Ahmed Lawan understands this,” Misau said.
He added that contrary to speculations in some quarters, majority of the Senators are in support of Saraki, even in spite of the on-going trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT