SWITZERLAND, JULY 25 – The Senate screening of President Buhari’s 43 ministerial nominees continued on Thursday. 14 nominees were screened by the Senate on day two in proceedings covered live by Today’s Echo.
Former Chairman of Senatorial committee on Petroleum(Upstream), Tayo Alasoadura is the first on the spot.
11: 10: Senate Minority Leader: Tayo Alasoadura is a good man, our good friend. He has been part of the PIB that the eight senate worked hard on.
Convince your colleagues in the executive that we did not mean any harm. Let this reform be taken seriously by the executive
Senator Alasoadura is asked to take a bow and leave as a former senator.
11:27 : Mustapha Shehuri of Borno state is on the spot. He introduces himself as one of the people who struggled against the regime of late Gen. Abacha. He is also the former Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing from 2015.
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan argues that he should be allowed to take a bow as a former member of the National Assembly.
11: 47: Abubakar Aliyu, immediate past Deputy Governor of Yobe State. He is expected to have a good sail as the Senate President’s man. He is asked to take a bow.
12: 08: Bashir Saleh from Kano State is on the spot. He is a retired general. After a little deliberation Bashir Saleh is asked to take a bow.
12: 34: Former Bayelsa state governor, Timpreye Silva is on the spot.
Senate Minority leader argues that since former members of house assemblies have been asked to take a bow, the courtesy should be extended to Silva, who was a member of Bayelsa House of Assembly.
12: 54: Rahmatu Tijani from Kogi State is on the spot. She starts with an elaborate greeting to all the senators. There was a mild drama when she greeted Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi state.
01: 00: Senate adjourns screening to go on lunch break, to resume by 2: 30
2: 54: Otunba Niyi Adebayo, former governor of Ekiti State is on the spot. He is also the National Deputy Chairman of the APC. Mr Adebayo, being a senior politician was asked to take a bow and leave.
3: 15: Ambassador Zubairu Dada from Niger State is being screened. He answers one question from Senator Stella Oduah and is asked to bow and leave.
3: 40: Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour, former Governor and former Senator is on the spot. He takes a bow.
4: 20: Mohammed Abdullahi is on the spot. He answers some questions.
4: 35: Sunday Dare from Oyo State is on the spot right now. He speaks about his experience in journalist as a pro-Democracy advocate and his experience in the telecoms sector.
Dare: I have opportunity to work with various stakeholders to make sure that telecommunications work for the benefit of our economy.
The Senate president asked Dare how technology can be used to fight kidnapping. Ovie-Agege and other senators also asked questions.
The senators from Oyo state, deviating from the tradition, said they won’t urge the Senate to allow Dare to take a bow and go as they want him to showcase his expertise, which they are sure of, before the Senate.
Reacting to the kidnapping question, Dare spoke on the collaborative role the NCC, where he is currently an executive commissioner, is playing with the DSS and other security agencies.He also talked about the federal government’s plan to create the national citizens database
5: 30: Muhammed Bello from Adamawa State is on the spot.
Senator Adamu Aliero, who was the FCT minister before becoming a lawmaker, convinces his colleagues to allow him take a bow and go. His arguments include that the minister-designate had faced screening three times and had passed. He also enumerates some of Bello’s achievements.
A senator from Adamawa also pleads with her colleagues to let him go without hindrance as because, apart from his qualification, he was one of the ministers who drove in a convoy of just two cars.
6: 15: Saádiya Faruq from Zamfara State is on the spot. She is the federal commissioner of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan tells Hajia Farouq that the National Assembly gives support to its female members and, as such, this would be extended to her. He then asks her to address the Senate
She says she has served in the National Assembly, not as a senator or member of the House of Representatives and that as a result, she knows she is accepted.
Senator Abaribe asks that she be allowed to take a bow and go having established her DNA in the National Assembly.Abaribe’s appeal is supported by the leader of the House after which Lawan remarks that the senators had been witnesses to what she had been doing in the refugee commission. He said all the females that have come for screening have shown exceptional capacity and commitment that show they would perform in their service to the country.
6: 35: Minister of Finance, . She is asked to take a bow.
That’s the end of screening for today. So far, 14 ministerial nominees were interviewed on Thursday. The total number of screened nominees is now 24.