Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki is expected to formally communicate President Muhammadu Buhari today on the list of ministerial nominees screened and confirmed by the upper legislative chamber for the inauguration of his cabinet members.
Nigerian Pilot gathered yesterday in Abuja that the senate in session has to adopt the votes and proceedings of Thursday, October 29 plenary at its sitting today before Saraki could communicate the Presidency on the matter.
The screening and confirmation of the remaining 18 ministerial nominees were part of the senate’s proceedings last Thursday, and in line with its standing rule, the upper chamber had to formally adopt it to become law.
As expected, the formal transmission of the ministers-designate is the prelude to the swearing-in of the 36 ministerial nominees cleared by the upper legislative chamber, during which Buhari is expected to assign portfolios to them.
Nigerian Pilot had reported yesterday that the delay in the official transmission of the names of the cleared ministerial nominees would most likely affect their inauguration and further widen the apprehension and schisms within the political space, following criticisms that the slow-motion government under President Buhari has left a gaping economy and socio-political issues unattended to, five months after inauguration.
This medium also reported that, following the schisms over the nomination and screening of former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi over allegations of corruption hanging on his neck, a lot of horse trading between the All Progressives Congress, APC senators and its Peoples Democratic Party, PDP counterparts led to a walkout of the latter during Amaechi’s forced confirmation.
A source close to leadership of the senate had told Nigerian Pilot that, the senate president, Bukola Sarak, began a fence mending process to enable the upper house clear Amaechi. The source informed that, “the senate president wanted to pacify the PDP senators with chairmanship and vice chairmanship of some juicy committees as a result of what happened last week when they staged a walk out during the screening of the former governor of Rivers State.
“It’s not that the PDP senators opposed Amaechi’s confirmation as a minister, but what they were saying is that due process must be followed, particularly when the committee report on petition against his nomination has not been properly debated in accordance to the Senate’s standing rule.
“But I can tell you that the senators didn’t have anything against the senate president for allowing the APC senators to have their way over Amaechi’s confirmation. He is the President of the Senate and still enjoys the support of PDP senators”, the source explained.
Nigerian Pilot further learnt that some PDP senators, who were vice chairmen on the earlier list that would have been announced by Saraki last week, are now being promoted chairmen of such committees or newly created ones to accommodate them.
Saraki’s action may not be unconnected with the ruling of the Court of Appeal on his request for stoppage of his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT in Abuja, which was delivered in favour of the Tribunal.
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Goodwill Akpabio, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, had said the senate president still has the support of the PDP senators despite the controversial confirmation of Amaechi by the APC senators.
With the senate official transmission to the presidency, expected today, the coast is now clear for their formal inauguration.