Se­nate sets con­di­tions for cab­i­net nom­i­nees

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Mu­dashir

The Se­nate has set con­di­tions that Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s nom­i­nees must ful­fil be­fore they are con­firmed min­is­ters.

The sen­a­tors set the con­di­tions at an ex­ec­u­tive ses­sion that lasted about two hours yesterday.

Se­nate spokesper­son Dino Me­laye, who an­nounced the guide­lines, said the up­per cham­ber would be “guided by the 1999 Con­sti­tu­tion, ex­tant laws of the coun­try, prac­tice and con­ven­tions of the Se­nate.”

He said, in line with that con­ven­tion, sen­a­tors had agreed that for a nom­i­nee to be cleared as a min­is­ter, at least two sen­a­tors from his state must sup­port his nom­i­na­tion.

“It’s a con­ven­tion by the Se­nate, and we have de­cided to up­hold that con­ven­tion in the sanc­tity of the in­tegrity of the Se­nate,” he said.

Pres­i­dent Buhari’s party, the APC, has no sen­a­tors in at least 12 states -11 states in the

South-East and the SouthSouth as well as Plateau State.

This re­quire­ment has there­fore handed ab­so­lute pow­ers to the op­po­si­tion PDP to de­cide who be­comes a min­is­ter in Pres­i­dent Buhari’s cab­i­net from those states.

Re­act­ing, how­ever, Sen­a­tor Me­laye dis­pelled the sug­ges­tion that the cri­te­ria were tar­geted at spe­cific nom­i­nees.

“Get­ting the sup­port of two sen­a­tors is just one of the con­di­tions adopted at the closed door ses­sion and it is not that we are tar­get­ing any of the nom­i­nees. This con­di­tion has been there, it is not a new one,” Me­laye said.

When con­tacted, the Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on Na­tional Assem­bly (Se­nate), Sen­a­tor Ita Enang said he would ad­dress the press on the cri­te­ria set by the Se­nate.

Sen­a­tor Me­laye also said the nom­i­nees are re­quired to present ev­i­dence of dec­la­ra­tion of as­sets from the Code of Con­duct Bureau be­fore they would be cleared.

He added that nom­i­nees must also pos­sess the qual­i­fi­ca­tions pre­scribed for those as­pir­ing to run for elec­tion into the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Sen­a­tor Me­laye said for­mer law­mak­ers among the nom­i­nees would be given spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion by be­ing the first to be screened be­fore the oth­ers.

“They will be given spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tion but that does not say they will take a bow and go as pre­vi­ously done. Dur­ing the ses­sion, we also re­solved that we are not go­ing to be po­lit­i­cal or re­gional, the Fed­eral Re­pub­lic of Nige­ria shall be our ul­ti­mate in­ter­est,” he added.

He said the nom­i­nees are ex­pected to send 115 copies of their Cur­ricu­lum Vi­taes (CVs) on or be­fore 12th of this month.

Af­ter the ses­sion, Saraki di­rected the Ethics Com­mit­tee, headed by Sen­a­tor Sa­muel Anyanwu, to con­clude work on the pe­ti­tions against for­mer Rivers State Gover­nor Ro­timi Amaechi and Mrs. Amina Ibrahim be­fore Tues­day.

Pres­i­dent Buhari has sub­mit­ted names of 21 nom­i­nees and their con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing opens on Tues­day.

Mean­while, nine of the nom­i­nees were at the Na­tional Assem­bly yesterday to sub­mit their CVs.

They are Sen­a­tor Chris Ngige (Anam­bra state), Dr. Og­bonaya Onu, Lt. Gen. Ab­dul­rah­man Dam­bazau (Kano State), Audu Og­beh(Benue State), Sen­a­tor Udoma Udo Udoma(Akwa Ibom), Engi­neer Suleiman Adamu (Ji­gawa), Dr. Osagie Ehanire (Edo), Ibrahim Us­man Jib­ril (Nasarawa) and Sen­a­tor Hadi Sirika.

They sub­mit­ted the CVs to the of­fice of the Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on Na­tional Assem­bly (Se­nate), Sen­a­tor Ita Enang.

In an in­ter­view, Enang con­firmed the sub­mis­sion of the CVs by the nom­i­nees and that the re­main­ing would sub­mit theirs to­day.

Photo: Bene­dict Uwalaka

Flood caused by heavy down­pour along Adekunle Fa­juyi Road at G.R.A Ikeja, La­gos yesterday.

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