Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan is a Nigerian politician and professor. He has been serving in the Nigerian since 1999, sometimes in the House of Representatives and other times in the Senate. As of 2022, he serves as the president of the Nigerian Senate. He is a member of the All Progressive Party (APC) and represents Yobe North Senatorial District.
Early Life & Education
Ahmad Lawan was born on the 12th of January, 1959. He is an indigene of Yobe State. He attended Sabon Gari Primary School, Gashua for his elementary school, where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1974. He went further to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography in 1984 at the University of Maiduguri. In 1990, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Remote Sensing from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He also went further to obtain a Doctorate Degree in Remote Sensing/GIS in 1996 at Cranfield University, UK.
In 1985 and 1986, Lawan served as an Education Officer in the Yobe State Civil Service’s Ministry of Education before lecturing at his alma mater, the University of Maiduguri, from 1987 to 1997.
In 1999, Ahmad Lawan was first elected to the House of Representatives as a member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party to represent the Bade/Jakusko Federal Constituency. Lawan led the House Committees on Education and Agriculture at various times after being elected to the House of Representatives.
In 2003, he was re-elected, and in 2007, he ran for Yobe North Senator, which he won. In 2008, he served as a member of the National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Constitution Review. In 2009, when he was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Lawan initiated and sponsored the Desertification Control Commission Bill. Also, he stood against the proposed Kafin Zaki Dam in August 2009. He said that the Tiga Dam and Challawa Gorge Dam had already significantly reduced water flow and that the Jama’are River was now the Yobe River’s primary supply of water. He said that the dams resulted in extreme poverty, desert encroachment, migration, and confrontations between arable farmers and herders.
After being re-elected in 2011, 2015, and 2019 as a member of the All Progressive Congress, the successor of the ANPP, Lawan was elected the Senate President with 79 votes cast, defeating Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume with 28 votes, after the 9th Nigerian National Assembly was inaugurated in 2019. It was his second candidacy for Senate President, but he lost the first one.
Lawan ran for Senate President in 2015 after the APC assigned the seat to the northeastern Nigerian region based on the party’s power-sharing formula at the time. Because of the zoning, only senators elected on the APC platform from the six states in the northeast were eligible to run for Senate President. Lawan was endorsed and presented to the national leadership of the party, who nominated him as the party’s candidate for Senate President after meetings with key political stakeholders and senators-elect from the northeast. Other senators elected from other zones are barred from running for the seat due to the APC’s zoning arrangement.
Senator Bukola Saraki of Kwara State in Nigeria’s north-central region, however, disagreed with the party’s decision, arguing that all competent candidates should be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to run for Senate leadership positions. Saraki announced his candidacy in defiance of the party’s zoning policy.
On June 9, 2015, which was the morning of the day of the Senate president election, 51 APC senators gathered at the International Conference Centre, reportedly convened by the APC leadership and President Muhammadu Buhari with the clear goal of convincing senator Saraki to drop his ambition and support Lawan, when the election was conducted by 57 senators, mostly from the opposition PDP and a few APC senators. Saraki was elected with 57 unanimous votes from the senators who were present at the time of the election. When the election was held and a winner was announced, Senator Lawal was present at the International Conference Centre. That occurrence denied his bid for the presidency of the 8th Senate.
On June 6, 2019, Senator Danjuma Goje stepped down from the Senate Presidency election, after meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Senator Ahmed Lawan of the APC was elected and sworn in as the Senate President of Nigeria’s 9th Assembly on June 11, 2019, after defeating his opponent, Senator Ali Ndume of the APC. Senator Ahmed Lawan defeated his opponent by a margin of 79 to 28 votes.
After the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was passed in August 2021, Lawan and other Cabinet ministers were accused of accepting bribes to ensure the bill’s approval despite widespread public opposition to parts of its contents. Several lawmakers expressed outrage, not because Gbajabiamila and Lawan allegedly took bribes, but because the bribes were not distributed fairly among the legislators, as other members claimed to have gotten $5,000 for representatives and $20,000 for senators.
Initially, Gbajabiamila and Lawan refused to comment on the report. Lawan denied the story several days later, calling it “unwarranted, unproven, and false,” and urging Nigerians to “always think positive about their leaders and their governments,” as well as to “let them speak the truth and we are prepared to tell corrections that we believe should be able to make us do better.”
On Friday, June 25, at the Sheikh Sharif Ibrahim Saleh’s mosque in Maiduguri, Ahmad Lawan marries a new wife, whose name was reported to be Zainab Algoni Abdulwahid.