By Cecilia Ijuo
Abuja – The newly elected President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, says he will be fair to his colleagues irrespective of political, ethnic or religious affiliation.
He said this while delivering his remarks at the end of the inauguration of the 9th Senate, which saw to his emergence.
Lawan said the senate under his leadership would do justice to all to ensure that it perform its role for the benefit of Nigerians.
He added that “elections are over. It shows that we voted for a united senate and it is clear that the outcome is bipartisan.
“All parties including the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and Young Progressives Party(YPP) voted for me and with this outcome, the 9th Senate is ready to take off as a united senate.
“Today means so many things. It is the commencement of another decade of our democracy and we will work to ensure best global parliamentary practice among other things,” he said.
Lawan, who polled 79 votes to defeat his only contender, Sen. Ali Ndume, who polled 28 votes, promised to ensure a secure and a prosperous future for all Nigerians.
He promised to run a senate that would be responsive to the needs of the masses whose mandate the senate holds in high esteem.
He called for the support of his colleagues to ensure a robust senate, adding that, “we will not settle for anything less than the best. We will dream big, aim high and take good initiatives.”
Lawan pointed out that the agenda of the 9th senate would include improved Information Communication Technology(ICT).
He added that the senate would work in collaboration with the Executive, to tackle cattle rustling, kidnapping and other crimes bedeviling the nation..
He said, “we will work with the executive for sustained pursuit of national ethical renewal.”
The president of the senate said the 9th senate would address youth unemployment, high rate of suicide, depression, corruption, insecurity among others.
He also said the upper chamber would work towards finding lasting solutions to the disturbing educational challenges in the country, adding that it is embarrassing to have about 14 million out of school children.
He further allayed fears that the senate under him would be subservient to the executive.
According to him, the senate will be independent while working with the executive.
“We will choose unity of purpose instead of conflict,” he said.
He pointed out that he would ensure that senate’s relationship with stakeholders including civil society organisations and the media is strengthened.
He stressed that “we must drive a trans-formative senate dedicated to serving the people with confidence, courage and patriotism.
” In doing so, we are convinced that our past was only a story told while our future can yet be written in gold.”