Ahmed Lawan, senate majority leader, says Nigerians must not be at the receiving end of the ongoing crisis at the national assembly.
Addressing state house correspondents after meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja on Monday, Lawan said interest of politicians must not translate to bad fortune for the citizens.
He was speaking on the need for the lawmakers to cut short their recess and reconvene to consider the supplement budget request for the 2019 election pending before them.
There is an ongoing dispute between senators of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), following a mass defection, involving also Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The budget request as well as calls by APC chieftains for the impeachment of Saraki has also generated concerns.
“If we don’t reconvene and pass the request, what that means is that we have turned against this country, we are stalling the administration and invariably, fighting the people because the people want us to do those things that will make them happy,” Lawan said.
“It is also important that whatever crisis we have in the senate and indeed in the national assembly, that Nigerians don’t suffer.
“We, as politicians, can do anything. In fact, in parliament, worse things could happen but parliaments that are responsible and responsive will always take into account the national interest, work assiduously to ensure that the country does not suffer.
“Here in our case, we have our budget suffering, we are not able to implement anything today because, we are not able as a legislature, to pass the request of Mr. President.
“So I believe that we should be on the same page with Nigerians, we are not aliens, rather we are representing Nigerians. What they want today is that we should plan properly for free, fair and transparent elections in 2019.”.
Insisting APC senators remain the majority in the upper legislative chamber, Lawan challenged senators in the PDP to publish their names if they think otherwise.
According to him, “the APC caucus remains the majority because we have 53 senators and we have given the media the list of everyone; every senator’s name was there and his or her state
“The PDP caucus will tell you they are in the majority, I will take this opportunity for the third time to challenge the PDP caucus to publish the names of the PDP caucus members.
“They have never done that, they will only tell you that they are 55, they are 60, they are 65. Publish the names let Nigerians see where there senators are. We have done our own.”