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Vote us out in 2023 if you’re tired of our faces – Senate President tells Nigerians

Valentine Chinyem

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Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s senate president, has told Nigerians, that rather than calling for the scrapping of the senate due to misconception about their jumbo pay, they should vote out members of the 9th Assembly in 2023, if they are tired of seeing their faces.

Lawan said this on Friday while declaring open, a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission in Abuja.

According to the senate president, the annual budget of the National Assembly is less than one per cent of the nation’s 2021 budget.

“Without the National Assembly and the legislature across the country, what you have is not democracy anymore,” he said.

“So the value of the legislature and National Assembly to Nigerians is democracy. If you take out the legislature, it might not be a dictatorship but certainly not a democracy.

“So when we always debate on jumbo pay and not the functions of the National Assembly – what we are able to do and what we are not able to do.

“Ask for what you think we should be doing rather than saying close down the Senate or the National Assembly. Do you understand the implications of what would happen if we close the senate? I am not saying because I am in the Senate.

“The Senate is a leveller because in the House of Representatives, population is major – that is why some states will have five, six members and others have up to 20.

“So if you say close down the Senate, there will be a day when people will cry foul.

” In the Senate, what Kano produces is what Bayelsa will produce. Three senators in Kano and three senators in Bayelsa, so that stabilises the system.

“In a budget of N13 trillion the National Assembly will get about N125bn to N128bn. That is less than 1 percent. So where is the remaining 99 percent.