Posted by By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on
Proceedings were on Thursday disrupted by outage in the upper chamber of the National Assembly during the screening of 10 ministerial nominees. Power went off at least four times during the proceedings with the last one lasting about 15 minutes.
despite the power outage, the screening went on as planned with former head of service, Alhaji Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, from Bauchi State being the first to be screened. Yayale spent about an hour fielding questions from the lawmakers.
Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national secretary, whose nomination had generated controversy from senators and other interest groups from Abia State, barely spent three minutes before he was asked by the Senate President, David Mark, to “take a bow and go.”
According to the Senate President, “Maduekwe was first a member of the House of Representatives and secondly, the National Secretary of our great party, the greatest in Africa. And since our tradition has not changed, I will just say the nominee should take a bow and go.”
With these remarks from the Senate President, Maduekwe only introduced himself without any of the senators from his state having the opportunity to make a comment.
As soon as Maduekwe left the chamber, members of the public who had gathered at the gallery anxiously waiting to see how the PDP scribe would be grilled, began to leave in disappointment.
Incidentally, Senators Enyiniaya Abaribe and Nkechi Nwogu, who had earlier submitted a written petition to object to the nomination of Maduekwe, were among the senators who gave him a resounding applause when he was asked to take a bow and go.
Explaining the reason for their action, the senators in a press statement issued on Thursday evening observed that though Maduekwe’s nomination had generated negative reaction from a wide section of the people from Abia, their opposition was not targeted against his person.
Meanwhile, all the first batch of 17 nominees whose security clearance and credentials were presented to the Senate have been screened.
Besides, the seven screened on Wednesday, 10 went through the ritual on Thursday.
They included Aderemi Babalola (Oyo), Ambassador Bagudu Hirse (Plateau), Halima Tayo Alao (Kwara), Igwe Aja Nwachukwu (Ebonyi), Odein Ajumogobia (Rivers), Senator John James Akpanidoedehe (Akwa Ibom), Gabriel Aduku (Kogi), and Gen. Godwin Abbe (Edo). Abbe, the last to be screened, was also simply asked to asked to take a bow and go. Screening of the next batch of nominees continues next Tuesday.
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