Contrary to the plea of President Muhammadu Buhari for expeditious screening and confirmation of his ministerial nominees, the senators are not in a hurry to do so. They are asking for the citation and resume of the 21 nominees to ensure “due diligence.”
Consequently, Nigerians, who expected the nominees to be screened today, will have to wait till next Tuesday when the exercise will begin. The senators said the three-day screening will hold between October 13 and 15.
The legislators took the decision after Senate President, Bukola Saraki unveiled the first batch of the nominees, which had 21 names as forwarded to the Senate President last Wednesday by President Buhari.
The nominees include: Abubakar Malami (SAN), Kebbi; Abdurahman Bello Dambazzau, Kano; Aisha Jumai Al Hassan, Taraba; Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Kwara; Babatunde Raji Fashola, Lagos; Adebayo Shittu, Oyo; Solomon Dalong, Plateau; Senator Chris Ngige, Anambra; Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers and Chief Audu Ogbeh, Benue.
Of particular interest among the nominees is Mr Audu Ogbeh. In the Second Republic under President Shehu Shagari, late Dr Olusola Saraki, as Senate leader was part of the senators that screened Audu Ogbeh. 36 years later, the late Saraki’s son is presiding over the Senate that will screen Audu Ogbeh again for yet another ministerial slot.
he rest are Mrs. Amina Ibrahim; Dr. Osagie Ehaneri, Edo; Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Delta; Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti; Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Jigawa; Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Ogun; Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Abia; Ahmed Musa Bello Ibeto, Niger; Ibrahim Usman Jubrin, Nasarawa; Senator Hadi Serika, Katsina and Senator Udo Udoma, Akwa Ibom.
Senate President Saraki, who opened the sealed envelope at exactly 10:45am, told the lawmakers that the President sent the list to him through the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, adding that the list contained the first batch of nominees.
Buhari’s nomination letter
President Buhari’s letter to Saraki read: “In accordance with Section 147(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, I have the honour to forward the attached partial list of ministerial nominees for Senate confirmation. The list of the remaining nominees will follow shortly.
“It is my hope that this exercise will receive the usual kind expeditious consideration of the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic.”
Senator Saraki, who disclosed that the Senate would commence screening on Tuesday, October 13, said that President Buhari had told him that subsequent names would come shortly.
This came as senators, who were sharply divided over the list said they would do a thorough screening and called for the curriculum vitae of the nominees.