Senators Disagree On Screening Process For Ministerial Nominees

Ahead of Monday’s commencement of the screening of the 28 ministerial nominees forwarded to the Senate by President Bola Tinubu, senators have disagreed sharply on the screening processes.

The Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) and Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Yemi Adaramodu (APC, Ekiti South) are saying that the screening of the ministerial nominees would be thorough and not take-a-bow-and-go as in the past.

However, the former Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (APGA, Abia South) sharply disagreed with them, saying that nothing new will happen.

Another Senator who spoke with Vanguard on the condition of anonymity, agreed with Senator Abaribe.

The senator said with the list compromising former governors, Senators and members, House of Representatives, it would be more a “take a bow and go” show.

Senator Abaribe

Speaking with Vanguard, Senator Abaribe said: “The screening of the ministerial list will not be different. Nothing has changed to give any signal of a change in methodology.”

Recall that the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio had on Thursday read out the 28 ministerial nominees sent in by President Bola Tinubu for screening at the National Assembly scheduled to commence on Monday.

Also, Senator Adaramodu, while addressing journalists on Thursday, had boasted that the Senators would be thorough during the screening as they would dwell on experience, character, personality, background, among others, just as there will be no take a bow and go except when there are no questions.

Senator Yemi Adaramodu had said, “This time, screening will be very thorough. It is not going to be a situation where the screening will be anyhow.

“We are going to know the background of the nominees and we are not going to disappoint Nigerians.

“We are very much aware of the high expectations of those who will assist the President in fulfillment of his mandate and the constitution.

“To satisfy the expectations of Nigerians for high-velocity performance, we will “eyemark” not “earmark”, the performances. The screening will be very thorough, but there will still be the take-a-bow-and-go.

“The Senate will scrutinise the character, the ability of every nominee. Thorough screening for anybody who will be minister entails he/she must have ideas about everything, but in core specialities like health, yes the minister must be a professional.

“The 10th Senate will not disappoint Nigerians. The team will bring oxygen, the chain to the economy, character of the nominees must be carried in the resume, but we will not manufacture questions and allegations against anyone.”

He advised that as the list has been read out anyone who has anything against them can channel such to the right quarters.

“Although the Senate is not supposed to sit on Mondays, but because of the importance attached to this national assignment, we have suspended all our rules.

“On Monday, we are not supposed to have plenary which you know, but we have suspended all rules.

“In fact, we are supposed to go on our annual vacation; we have suspended it for the benefit of this assignment.

“This is a national assignment, very crucial and very pertinent. It is necessary and compulsory for us to be at the chamber on Monday at 11a.m., all other days 10a.m.”

Senator Adaramodu who disclosed that there will be no allocation of time for any nominee, said: “If a single nominee takes up to three hours or a whole day, so be it.

“A nominee who has been brought forward must explain himself. If after explaining nobody is asking question that you are this or that, we will not manufacture it.”

On the usual take a bow, which has become a norm for former senators, he said it is a norm and not an anathema.

The Senate spokesman had said, “Even if you came to National Assembly to submit a paper you must take a bow, so the issue of taking bow is not an anathema, it is a tradition, it is not a slang for complacency.

“It does not mean you cannot be held accountable. It is just a norm.”

Security checks

On allegation of graft against someone the nominees, Adaramodu said that all had gone through security checks from the executive, adding, “if there is any red flag raise we will look into it.”


Corroborating the spokesperson, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele reiterated that the Senate would be thorough with the screening of the ministerial nominees.

He spoke on Friday at a programme tagged ’24 Hours Marathon Praise and Worship Service’, organised by his admirers to mark his 60th birthday celebration held at the palatial Obafemi Awolowo Civic and Convention Centre in Ado Ekiti.

He said the Senate will scrutinise the ministers thoroughly to ascertain their competences and capabilities to serve Nigeria diligently and in such a way that will bring dividends of democracy to the populace.

He said: “Let me assure Nigerians that the screening won’t be only bow and go, except for those who had been members of the National Assembly before and whom we knew and appreciated that they have the wherewithal to give Nigerians qualitative leadership.

“Nigerians expected us to be thorough. They are expecting us to do a thorough screening. But take a bow and go is not an unparliamentary convention, it has become a practice all over the world and that person must be a former member of the parliament who is well known to us.

“Somebody we have confidence in his ability.

“We are going to follow the constitution to ensure that we deliver our mandate to make those who voted for us happy.

“This will occur at the level of parliament, oversight functions and at the committee level.”

The list

Tinubu’s ministerial list is made up of former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai; his counterpart from Rivers, Nyesom Wike, a card-carrying member of main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP; the immediate past Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, and former Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, who is currently the Deputy Majority Leader in the Senate; and the current acting National Chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Abubakar Kyari, who represented Borno North in the 8th and 9th Senate.

Also on the list is Senator John Enoh, who represented Cross River Central in the 8th Senate; Senator Abubakar Sani Danladi, former Acting Governor and Deputy Governor Taraba State; former Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Nkiru Onyejiocha, who represented Isuikwuato/ Umunneochi Federal Constituency, Abia State; Olubunmi Tunji Ojo, represents Akoko North East/ North West Federal Constituency, Ondo State, and was Chairman, House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Others are Abubakar Momoh, a two- time member of House of Representatives, who represented Etsako Federal Constituency, Edo State, and Ekperikpe Ekpo, represented Abak Federal Constituency from 2007 and 2011 from Akwa Ibom State.

A former All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential aspirant, Uju Ohaneye, made the list as well as former Executive Director, NEXIM Bank, Stella Okotete from Delta State, and the Special Adviser to the President on Communication, Strategy and Special Duties, Dele Alake from Ekiti State, among others.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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