A new twist may today be introduced to the crack between the Senate and the presidency, as senators said they would not accept the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint himself as the Minister of Petroleum.
Besides, the senators said the ministerial list scheduled to be unveiled today by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, may be rejected unless it is a complete list that include nominees from the 36 states.
President Buhari had last Wednesday sent the list of ministerial nominees in a sealed envelope through his Chief of Staff, Babagana Moguno, and Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, to Saraki.
The lawmakers promised to adopt stringent measures in line with the provisions of the constitution in screening the nominees.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North), who spoke the minds of his colleagues in an interview with Senate correspondents in Abuja, yesterday, said President Buhari was not expected to make himself minister.
“I don’t think the president’s name will be on the list and I also don’t think that he will say he is a minister because if you are a minister, one of the conditions is that you must be subjected to screening and approval of the Senate.
“He, as the chief minister, can be there to supervise any ministry, but he cannot be a minister. Whoever is advising him to be a minister is not advising him rightly,” the senator said.
Ohuabunwa also maintained that the list is expected to be complete in line with the constitution before it could be attended to by the upper legislative chamber.
“The constitution does not support ministers by batches. Every state must be represented, but if the number is not complete, some of us may raise constitutional issues. If we have to wait for another three months for him to send another list comprising representatives of other states, it means those states would be non-functional.”
On the issue of petition against some nominees, Ohuabunwa noted that such issues would not be ignored in the process of screening.
According to him, since the All Progressives Congress, APC, would want to be remembered for curbing corruption, it would be a contrast to overlook any case of corruption leveled against any nominee.
“This government wants to be remembered for fighting corruption and it will be against the Senate to see a strong petition about corruption and ignore it. Even if it means writing to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, or Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC, to give us reports, we will do so,” he stressed.
On the issue of the usual style of asking some nominees to take a bow and go, Ohuabunwa said it is assumed that the Senate would be guided by the constitution and the rules of the Senate.

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