Presidency, at the weekend, expressed its support for the conditions rolled out by the senate for the screening of the ministerial nominees forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Solomon Ita Enang, all the standards set by the upper legislative chamber, were in order and in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.
Enang, who spoke with the senate correspondents in his office in Abuja, added that the decision of the senators, fall within the constitutional powers of the senate on screening and approval of ministerial nominees.
He said the senate is at liberty constitutionally, to set out conditions upon which ministerial nominees forwarded to it by the president would be screened.
“The Senate is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Senate is free to set its criteria for the screening of the nominees appearing before it”, he said adding that on the same template, during screening of any nominee, senators are free to ask any of the nominees any questions, which must be responded to, by the nominee.
“Our job will be to work with the respective senators and work with the respective nominees to make sure that the senators are satisfied and so that they can agree with their nominations.
“We will not dispute with the senate on what it wants because it lies in the heart and minds of the respective and distinguished senators to determine what to ask.
“We cannot from our own end limit the question that senators can ask a nominee, because the senators are free and the nominees will be free to answer the questions since the senators are within their rights to request whatever they want”, he said.
Enang said his job is to relate with the senate on matters that proceeds from the president and create a good working relationship between the president, the vice president, all officers of the executive and the leadership of the Senate and the entire National Assembly.
He expressed happiness that the recent meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and President Buhari has lowered the temperature of conjectural frictions between them in the minds of Nigerians.
“The gains and resolutions of that meeting are as were stated by the President of the Senate in his briefing of the media after the meeting.
“I am sure that you can begin to feel the political temperature that has descended in the mind and psyche of Nigerians that the relationship between the executive and the legislature which were thought to be on heat has been fully perfectly and effectively restored and the public is now aware.
“I want to say that the conjecture that there was a rift between the executive and the legislature were actually and definitely, and speaking on all honesty, a conjecture; there wasn’t. But I am sure that the meeting as it were, as stated by the senate president really proved that there were no rifts”, Enang further explained.
The Senate had on Thursday through its spokesman, Senator Dino Melaye (APC Kogi West), among others, requested each of the ministerial nominees to have support of two out of three senators from their states, proof of assets declaration and indigeneship of state they are nominated from etc, as conditions upon which their screening can be successful at the senate.