Lawan not a “crisis entrepreneur, divisionist”, by Yusuf Ali

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As someone who has worked in the National Assembly and knows Ahmad Lawan for over 20 years, and his disposition to unity in diversity as the longest-serving lawmaker in the National Assembly, it’s wrong for the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu to accuse the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as “crisis entrepreneur and divisionist”.

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has reacted to a statement credited to the Senate President on the farmer-herder and security crisis in the southwest region.

Speaking through his special assistant on new media, Olabode Olatunde, the Ondo State Governor described Lawan’s statement as unfortunate but said he will never join issues with him.

The governor also maintained that he will avoid media confrontation with those he called “crisis entrepreneurs and divisionists,” The Punch reports.

Weeks ago, the Senate president had berated the southwest governors for their handling of the farmer-herder crisis and ethnic tension in the region saying it is a failure of leadership.

Lawan spoke on the heels of the recent violence in Shasha community of Akinyele local government area of Oyo state involving some aggrieved Hausa and Yoruba, and the evacuation notice issued to Fulani herders in Ondo.

But in a swift rejoinder, Akeredolu, who is the Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum (SGF), said he will not confront Lawan on the issue involving his region.

“At the risk of being repetitive, the Governor Akeredolu-led South-West Governors will not go into the arena of media conflict with crisis entrepreneurs and divisionists.”

In view of Akeredolu’s hypothetical statement, I want to say that Ahmad Lawan is not a “crisis entrepreneur and divisionist”. To call him one is unacceptable and erroneous. At a time when the leadership of the Senate President has carried all the 109 Senators along representing the various constituencies without any discrimination whatsoever, to called him a divisionist is to say the least most unfortunate.

Akeredolu should know who to join issues with. It certainly not Ahmad Lawan, the President of the Senate with midas touch who has brought unity and stability in the Senate and always seen canvassing for Nigeria’s unity.

The Nwannedinamba 1 of Ndi Eze, Igbere, Abia State Southeast Nigeria wouldn’t have been conferred on him if he is not deserving.

It’s on record that, while president of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairman 9th National Assembly, Ahmad Lawan has made and still making a strong case for national unity.

He has said on several occasions and practically too, that Nigeria needs all parts of the country to make things work. Regardless of ethnic, political or religious persuasions, the Senate President has brought all the lawmakers in the 9th Assembly under the Dome of national unity making good laws for the good governance of the country.

In one of the functions Lawan said “Nigeria is designed by the Grace of God to be a nation of many people of different orientation, different sentiments but we must be a people with common purpose and common destiny and this is what we are trying to achieve.”

“It doesn’t matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter what you believe in. What matters is that you are a Nigerian and the other person next to you is a Nigerian too.

“Nigeria needs all of us to be united. Nigeria needs all hands to be on deck. Nigeria needs the effort of each and every part to make it work and we can make it work”, he said.

There are several other occasions too numerous to mention here where Ahmad Lawan canvasses for national unity which i found it very uncharitable and absurd to describe him as a “crisis entrepreneur and divisionists”.

This is a man who stands up for national unity as the No 3 in the hierarchy of leadership of this country. As President of the Senate, he has stood for all North/South, Muslim/Christians as much as he stands up for the independence of the legislature to contribute in making good laws for the good governance of the country. It is fair to say that had it not been for his efforts Nigeria would have witness more crisis.

His leadership in the Senate which has rised above partisan and regional consideration, its something that we should all be proud of the quality of debate in the Chamber and the resultant legislations, motions, interventions, roundtable dialogues, and advocacy which have raised the level of contributions of the parliament to national development and survival of democracy.

If Aketedolu and his forum of South West Governors cannot appreciate the leadership role of the Senate President in the unity and stability of Nigeria in the present political dispensation, he should not call him a “crisis entrepreneur and divisionist” because Ahmad Lawan is far above such divisive tendencies.

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