In 2015, Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara went against the party’s decision and to control of the Senate and House respectively. The two eventually dumped the APC for the opposition PDP and retained their seats.
In his acceptance speech, Lawan said the contest was over and that it was time for all senators to get down to business irrespective of party affiliations. “We are going to work collaboratively with the Executive arm of government to strengthen our planning and budget linkage that ensures effective service delivery and fulfilment of essential government obligations to the citizens, while taking care of the perennial delays in our annual appropriation bill passage and implementation.
“We will embark upon a sustained pursuit of national ethical renewal, through legislative and political support for the fight against corruption and other major security challenges that Nigeria faces today, namely rural and highway banditry, inter-ethnic conflicts, herdsmen and farmers’ conflicts, cattle rustling, kidnapping and all other forms of criminality in the country.
“We have a plan to make Nigeria an economic growth hub and the most sought after business destination in Africa. This is to be achieved through legislative and policy coordination with the Executive arm of government to put in place the necessary reforms and legal instruments that promote the diversification and investment in the critical (real and service) sectors of the Nigerian economy,” he said.
On his part, Gbajabiamila said “The 9th Assembly under my leadership is going to be a House of reforms or a reformed Assembly. The reforms will be dished out piecemeal and at intervals so as not to shock the system.
“Moving forward therefore, it will not be business as usual and we will be shaking the table just a little. We will be introducing various reforms that will reposition this institution but please rest assured that they will be for the greater good. “On our shoulders lies the responsibility of working together as a House to safeguard the future of our great country. The House must be reformed before the country can be reformed. We simply cannot and must not fail.”
Gbajabiamila announced the appointment of Sanusi Rikiji, the former Speaker of Zamfara State as his Chief of Staff. He said Nigeria was currently facing myriad of problems, urging the lawmakers to set aside political, ideological and other differences that may distract them from the herculean assignment.
“My deputy Hon Ahmed Idris and I come with a cumulative 30 year legislative experience which we intend to deploy in making our vision a reality,” he said.