PDP can’t stop cab­i­net nom­i­nees – APC sen­a­tors

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Is­mail Mu­dashir

All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) Sen­a­tors have said they will not al­low their col­leagues from the op­po­si­tion Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) any chance to dis­qual­ify Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees when con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing opens to­mor­row.

The Se­nate Thurs­day ap­proved guide­lines for con­fir­ma­tion of min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees which gave PDP sen­a­tors enor­mous pow­ers over who be­comes a min­is­ter from their states.

There are three sen­a­tors from each state and one of the guide­lines re­quires a nom­i­nee to get the back­ing of at least two sen­a­tors be­fore he or she is con­firmed by the Se­nate.

This puts Buhari’s nom­i­nees from the South-South and South-East at the mercy of op­po­si­tion since his party has no sen­a­tors from the eleven states in the two zones.

On Wed­nes­day, Sen­a­tor Ge­orge Sek­ibo (PDP, Rivers East) tabled a pe­ti­tion seek­ing the rejection of the nom­i­na­tion of for­mer of gover­nor of Rivers state, Ro­timi Amaechi.

How­ever, in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Daily Trust yesterday, Se­nate Leader Ali Ndume said they would re­sist any at­tempt by the PDP Sen­a­tors to dis­qual­ify any nom­i­nee.

“We won’t al­low the PDP sen­a­tors to dis­qual­ify the min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees be­cause they are qual­i­fied and suit­able for the fed­eral cab­i­net in line with the Con­sti­tu­tion of the coun­try.

“Even though we will al­low the PDP Sen­a­tors to do their job, we will not al­low them to use any self­ish in­ter­est to push down the min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees.

“The in­ter­est of the coun­try should be the ut­most in­ter­est of all of us now,” he said in a phone in­ter­view.

Re­act­ing to the re­port that the nom­i­nees are lob­by­ing the PDP Sen­a­tors, Ndume said there was noth­ing bad in that.

He said: “It is nor­mal and this has been the tra­di­tion ev­ery­where in­clud­ing in the United States.

“In fact, let me tell you, as the Ma­jor­ity leader and chief mar­keter of the nom­i­nees, I have been lob­by­ing my col­leagues.

“I have reached out to two Sen­a­tors from Rivers state who were my col­leagues at the House of Reps. I have spo­ken to Sen­a­tor Ge­orge Sek­ibo and Sen­a­tor Olaka John­son Nwogu for them to sup­port Amaechi.

“We will not let our min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees suf­fer un­nec­es­sar­ily but in do­ing this we will fol­low due process.

“As we have said the screen­ing will be dif­fer­ent this time around be­cause we will fol­low the Con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions”.

But he added: “Let me tell you, the is­sue of get­ting two Sen­a­tors is not sacro­sanct”.

Mean­while, our cor­re­spon­dent re­ports that the min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees are mak­ing last min­utes move to meet the con­di­tions set by the Se­nate for the screen­ing.

It was re­li­ably gath­ered that the nom­i­nees have de­clared their as­sets at the Code of Con­duct Bureau and are now lob­by­ing Sen­a­tors from their re­spec­tive states.

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