Lawan began his political career in 1998 when he was elected the pioneer Vice Chairman of the Yobe State chapter of the All Peoples Party. In 1999, he served as the Secretary of the Electoral Committee of the APP National Convention in Abuja.
His deep knowledge of local politics and his closeness to the grass roots have helped him to win a seat in the Federal House of Representatives in 1999, representing Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency and got reelected in 2003.
In the House of Representatives, he served in various capacities such as Deputy Chairman, Committee on Environment; Deputy Chairman, Committee on Gas Resources; Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture; Chairman, House Committee on Education; and a representative of the House of Representatives in the Joint Parliamentary Assembly, ACP/EU.
Lawan contested and won election in 2007 into the Senate as a representative of Yobe North Senatorial District.
Also in 2011, the people of his senatorial zone reelected him for another four-year term.
In the 6th Senate, he served as Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts; member, Constitutional Review Committee; President, West African Association of Public Accounts Committees; and a member of five other standing committees of the Senate.
In the 7th Senate, he was re-appointed as Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts and appointed Chairman, Ad-Hoc Committee to Investigate the Privatisation and Commercialisation Activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprises from 1999 to 2011.
He was endorsed by the APC leadership to lead the 8th Senate as the presiding officer but the arrangement flopped when Senator Bukola Saraki emerged as the Senate President.
His party then forwarded his name to the red chamber as its choice for the position of the Senate Leader, which was already occupied by another senator from the same geopolitical zone with him, Ali Ndume.
Lawan had to wait for two years after Ndume was removed for him to become the Senate Majority Leader, the position he held up until midnight today, June 9.
The Yobe senator, on Friday, unfolded his agenda for the 9th Senate tagged, ‘A National Assembly that works for Nigeria’, at an event attended by 42 elected senators including those of the opposition parties, in Abuja.
The three-main point agenda captured in a 20-page book, covered a broad-based intervention including improving institutional capacity and capabilities of the Senate for effective performance; legislative interventions for good governance and other areas of concern.
The agenda has as part of its objectives as repositioning of the Senate to carry out its constitutional duties of legislation, oversight and representation in an open and transparent manner.
It was also aimed at strengthening the internal operations and processes of the committees of the Senate towards efficient service delivery.
The document contains legislative actions that would improve national economic conditions including public finance management and national security architecture and to reduce poverty, unemployment and infrastructure deficits.
It also has the proposal for the implementation of a national planning and annual budget process that fosters collaboration between the executive and the legislature.
Lawan said the 9th Senate would work with the leadership of the House of Representatives to pass bills that would support government reforms’ efforts aimed at employment generation and poverty reduction, among others.
He also said his administration would treat all senators equally regardless of their political affiliations, religious or ethnic considerations in a bid to ensure unity among members of the Senate.
He added that the Senate would make a conscious effort to ensure a smoother relationship with the Presidency, by organising periodic Senate-Presidency meetings to discuss issues of national importance.
Part of his agenda read, “The Senate will operate within its constitutional mandate, while working closely with the executive arm of government in an atmosphere of mutual respect to deliver the dividends of democracy to the Nigerian people.
“The Senate shall guard its status and institutional independence. It will avoid unnecessary conflict.” [PUNCH]