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Tinubu to the Rescue: President’s Intervention Keeps Keyamo Safe from Senate Ouster

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ABUJA, Nigeria – President Bola Tinubu’s timely intervention rescued Festus Keyamo, his ministerial nominee, from what would have been a bitter rejection at the hands of Senate members.

The senators had raised serious concerns about Keyamo’s prior disregard of summons to appear before the Senate and elucidate the budget allocation to his ministry when he served as Minister for State, Labour, under the previous administration.

A three-hour-long closed session on Monday, August 7, 2023, of the Senate was initiated by the Deputy Minority Leader, Darlington Nwokocha, LP, Abia Central, and Enyinnaya Abaribe, APGA, Abia South, who proposed that Keyamo’s screening be suspended.

The motion caused a tumultuous debate, dividing the lawmakers over whether to proceed with the screening.

After the break, the tension eased significantly, culminating in Keyamo being asked to “take a bow and go”, a traditional gesture signifying approval.

He tendered an apology to the Senate for his previous actions and ensured the accessibility of the list of beneficiaries of the N52 billion Public Works scheme for scrutiny.

In response, the Senate admonished him to “go and sin no more.”

Before Keyamo’s contentious screening, the Senate had completed the screening of Dr. Mariya Bunkure, the former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State during Governor Umar Ganduje’s tenure.

Despite the substantial hurdles, Keyamo survived the process and emerged as the second and final nominee to be screened in yesterday’s exercise.

The incident underscores the significant influence of President Tinubu and marks another victory in the continuing power play within Nigeria’s political sphere.

Final Batch of Ministerial Nominees Set for Senate Screening

The Senate is poised to screen and confirm the last batch of ministerial nominees on Saturday, August 5, 2023, wrapping up an intensive process to finalize the appointments for the 48 ministers to join the government’s executive branch.

Initially due to begin its long holiday at the end of July, the upper legislative chamber suspended the break to ensure that the screening and confirmation of all ministerial nominees are completed before proceeding on the annual recess.

The Saturday’s Order Paper, containing the list of the last batch of nominees, was released to the public and includes the following individuals:

  • Lola Ade-John – Lagos
  • Bosun Tijani – Ogun
  • Dr. Isiak Salako – Ogun
  • Dr. Tahir Mamman – Adamawa
  • Uba Maigari Ahmadu – Tarabara
  • Dr. Mariya Mahmoud – Kano
  • Festus Keyamo, SAN – Delta

The screening process is expected to be rigorous, as the Senate undertakes its constitutional role of vetting the qualifications and preparedness of each nominee to serve in their respective ministerial positions.

The decision to continue working through the holiday underscores the importance of the confirmation process and the government’s commitment to ensuring a seamless transition into the new term.

The nominees, representing various states and professional backgrounds, are considered critical players in the nation’s governance.

Among the nominees, Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Delta State, has drawn significant attention due to his legal expertise and prominent role in national affairs.

Confirming the 48 nominees on Saturday will pave the way for the administration to proceed with its policy agenda unimpeded, as the full cabinet will be in place.

Political observers and analysts are keenly watching the process, as the composition of the new ministerial team will provide insight into the government’s priorities and strategic direction for the coming years.

The swift action by the Senate reflects the urgency and importance placed on governance, with the expectation that the newly confirmed ministers will play a vital role in implementing the administration’s vision for national development.

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