THE new Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, yesterday solicited the cooperation of his colleagues in his new position to ensure the smooth-running of the upper chamber.
Lawan, who represents Yobe North, said such cooperation would enable the Senate to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) senator was announced Senate Leader on Tuesday, following his endorsement by the APC Senate Caucus.
The caucus had on Monday passed a vote of no confidence on the erstwhile Senate Leader Mohammed Ali Ndume.
Ndume, on Wednesday, described his ouster as “a parliamentary coup” and insisted that God would fight for him.
Lawan, in what seemed acceptance speech, noted that though he is a member of APC, he “is not leader of APC senators but Senate Leader”.
He promised to work for positive change in the Senate.
He noted that though the Eight Senate started on a shaky foundation, “by the grace of God, this Senate will end on a solid foundation”.
The Yobe North senator urged his colleagues to always display bi-partisan disposition in consideration of issues on the floor of the Senate in the interest of all Nigerians.
Lawan said: “Nigeria is our country, it doesn’t belong to APC. It belongs to Nigerians. We should work together and ensure stability in the country. I urge the cooperation and understanding of my colleagues. The 8th Senate started on a shaky foundation. This Senate will end on a solid, stable and successful foundation.”
Lawan hailed his colleagues for giving him the opportunity to serve in the capacity of Senate Leader.
Minority Leader Senator Godswill Akpabio (PDP Akwa-Ibom) noted that the PDP Senate Caucus believed that with the elevation of Lawan, “all the grumblings and disaffections affecting the smooth-running of the Eighth Senate would be over.
He urged Lawan to carry the senators along in the discharge of his duties.
He said the Senate President and not the Senate Leader will run the Senate.
Saraki assured Lawan of the support of the senators.
Lawan, he said, should get the support he needed to succeed as Senate Leader.
Saraki hailed Ndume for his service to the Senate as an institution and for his statesmanship in accepting his removal.