Newly elected President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, has assured that he will lead as a servant and be fair to all in the running of the affairs of the upper legislative chamber.
In his maiden address, Lawan, who represents Yobe North senatorial district, said political, ethnic and religious considerations would have no place under his leadership.
Lawan, who was the Majority Leader in the Eighth Senate, pledged to ensure the upper legislative chamber performed its role for the benefit of all Nigerians.
He said: “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 Ninth 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.
Promising to work toward ensuring a secure and a prosperous future for all Nigerians, Lawan pledged the new Senate would be responsive to the needs of the masses, who he said, were the owners of the mandate.
Urging his colleagues to work collectively to ensure a robust Senate, he charged them not to settle for anything less but the best, adding that, “we will dream big, aim high and take good initiatives”.
Senator Lawan further stated that improved Information Communication Technology (ICT) would be one of the focal points of the Senate under his leadership.
He said the Senate would work in collaboration with the executive arm to tackle rising cases of banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other crimes in the country.
“We will work with the executive for sustained pursuit of national ethical renewal”, he said, adding that youth unemployment, high rate of suicide, depression, corruption and insecurity would be frontally tackled.
Bemoaning the estimated 14 million out of school children across the nation, Lawan said the Senate would work toward finding lasting solutions to the growing menace, which he declined as embarrassing.
He allayed fears and insinuations in some quarters that the Senate under him would be subservient to the executive arm.
“The Senate will be independent while working with the executive. We will choose unity of purpose instead of conflict”, he assured.
He also promised to strengthen and broaden the relationship between the federal legislature and other key stakeholders, including the media as civil society organisations.
“We must drive a transformative 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,” Lawan said.