…PDP Senators meet on stopping the two nominees
The screening of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees came to a close in the Senate on Wednesday as the Senate is now set to confirm additional 18 nominees tomorrow (Thursday) for appointment.
Meanwhile Senators in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) are not relenting on stopping the clearance of nominee from Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi and his counterpart from Cross Rivers, Usani Usani Uguri as they held a crucial meeting after Wednesday’s plenary on the next line of action to take on the two nominees.
Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Senate President, confirmed that the last batch of the nominees who had been screened would be confirmed today.
Those screened during Wednesday’s plenary include Mr Okechukwu Eyinna Enelamah, Anwuka Anthony Gozie, Mohammed Musa Bello, Adamu Adamu and Aisha Abubakar.
The only nominee who was screened without a question posed to her by Senators was Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto as she was asked to bow and go in the name of Senate’s gender sensitivity.
Senators were mild on the nominee on the basis that of all the 36 names filed before the Senate for screening, only six are women, according to Senator Biodun Olujimi.
Earlier the three Senators had agree to allow the screening of the Aisha Abubakar, just as Senator Ibrahim Gobir announced the withdrawal of a potion he had earlier filed to stop her screening.
Meanwhile, the Thursday’s plenary is expected to witness some dramas against the backdrop of tension already generating among Senators on the final clearance of the former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi.
Senators from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) have not hidden their disdain for Amaechi and had made attempts to scuttle the process of his screening, with a complaint that he was screened without the consideration of a report on the petition against him by Integrity Group from his state.
The PDP Senators are equally opposed to the screening of a nominee from Cross-Rivers State, Pastor Usani Usani Uguri.
The opposition Senators had raised issues against him, arguing that he failed to declare his assets before coming up for screening, an omission they argued had set limitation for his screening.
Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio had also complained that the nominee had slighted the PDP by saying “God forbid” when a member attempted to associate him with the opposition party.
In the Same vein, the PDP Senators raised issues against his CV, which they said did not contain his status as a Pastor, even though he was being addressed as one.
It was apparent after Wednesday’s sitting that the PDP Senators were prepared slug it out with the majority party on clearance of Amaechi and Uguru whose clearance they are likely to oppose.
Indications to this emerged immediately after the plenary when the caucus of PDP dissolved into a meeting to discuss the issue of clearance of the last batch of the nominees.
A member after the meeting hinted that members of the opposition would protect their interest by opposing those to be opposed during the process of clearance of the nominees today.
The PDP member, however refrained from giving detailed information on what the caucus actually discussed at the meeting.
Senate leader, Ali Ndume had earlier assured that the PDP Senators, no matter the intrigue they come up with will not prevent Amaechi’s clearance.
He harped on the numerical strength of the All Progressives Congress as a factor that will facilitate the clearance of the nominees.
His Deputy, Senator Ibn Na’Allah in a chat said the Senate will not deploy sentiment in clearing the Ministerial nominees.
He said the Senate would be “Guided by the overriding national interest” in determining who among those so far screened will scale the hurdle of clearance during today’s plenary.
He said, we had made a commitment collectively to the public to make the 8th Senate one of the most compliant Senate in the history of this country.
“The implication of that is that our actions will largely be determined by our oath of office, the provision of the constitution and the law of the federal republic of Nigeria together with established usages of convention of a democratic assembly’’
More than a week ago, the Senate had approved the screening of 18 Senators whose names it had forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointments.
Prominent among those so far cleared are Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Senator Hadi Sirika, General Abdulrahman Bello Danbazau, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Raji Babatunde Fashola, Senator Chris Ngige Dr Ogbonniah Onu as well as Chief Audu Ogbeh.
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