One of the top contenders for the office of Senate President of the Ninth Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan has promised to work with senators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Lawan, who is the adopted candidate of the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, made the pledge through the spokesman of his campaign team, Senator Sabi Abdulahi at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Abdulahi also asked PDP senators-elect to ignore threats by the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole that opposition members would not be made the chairmen of juicy committees in the Ninth Senate.
According Abdulahi, Lawan was a member of the opposition for many years, adding that he appreciates the feelings of members of the minority party and would do nothing to hurt them.
Abdullahi said: “Senator Ahmad Lawan is leaving no stone unturned in talking to his colleagues across party lines. Let me say very clearly that the nature of parliament is such that you cannot shut anybody out. It is not possible.
“I want Nigerians to look at those of us who are the actors and take note of what we say. That is the most important thing.
“I want to submit and assure Nigerians that by the special grace of God, if Senator Ahmad Lawan gets there, he will run an all-inclusive government because the Senate is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The 109 senators are individual senators representing the various senatorial districts in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They have inalienable rights to be heard and listened to for government to work for them no matter our differences and no matter the sentiments that we share.
“When we took our oath of office, we pledged not to allow personal interest to override the public interest. Let me say very clearly that our aspiration is to have the Senate that works for Nigeria.
“I know that given the track record of Senator Lawan in his 16 years of being in the National Assembly, he understands the feelings of the opposition because he was one of them before and he will not abuse that privilege.
“The notion from the PDP side that they would be excluded should be withdrawn forthwith. What we are planning to do is to have a Senate that will be for all senators.”
Abdullahi also revealed that opposition senators, who believed that Lawan would shut them out of his government, have already pledged their support and promised to vote for him on the day of inauguration.
“I can confirm to you that on the day of inauguration, Senator Ahmad Lawan will garner more than two-thirds of the votes from no less than 73 members-elect from both the APC and the PDP.
“We are talking to our colleagues; we are working on the people who will vote on the floor of the Senate on the day of inauguration.
“By the grace of God, so far so good. We are very much convinced, based on the reception that is being accorded our campaigns, we have been able to reach a lot of our colleagues except those who are outside the country”, Abdulahi said.