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Senate Concludes Screening, Defers Confirmation As PDP Senators Plot Against Amaechi, Uguru


Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Senate on Wednesday concluded its  screening exercise of the entire 36 ministerial nominees forwarded to it in two batches by President Muhamnadu Buhari .

Senate had earlier confirmed nominations of 18 out of the 36 nominees after their screening penultimate week.

But the remaining 18 nominees screened thereafter, including the last set of five nominees namely, Okechukwu Enelamah ( Abia State), Anwukah Anthony Gozie ( Imo ), Muhammed Musa Bello ( Adamawa), Adamu Adamu ( Bauchi) and Aisha Abubakar ( Sokoto) screened Wednesday are yet to be confirmed.

This was even as the 49 PDP senators had an emergency meeting immediately after the plenary session  to perfect plans on how to stop the confirmation of former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the nominee from Cross Rivers State, Pastor Usani Usani Uguru .

Although the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while announcing  the adjournment of the Senate sittings to 10:00am on Thursday after the screening of the last nominee , Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto State at about 3:15pm on Wednesday, did not say anything about confirmation of the remaining screened of 18 nominees but feelers from the meeting held by PDP senators revealed that it may be done today (Thursday).

Reliable sources  at the meeting  which held for just 30 minutes, hinted that it was all about stopping  Amaechi and Nguru from being confirmed as ministers .

One of the sources, a senator from South – South geo- political zone said: “The meeting is about having a united front on the floor of the senate on critical issues as senators from the same party”.

It would be recalled that last week Thursday, when Amaechi and five other nominees were screened by the Senate, the PDP senators refused to participate in the exercise on the grounds of report on petition written against him, not considered by the Senate before the exercise.

The Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio , said it was procedurally wrong for the senate to have invited Amaechi for the exercise when report of a committee assigned by it to carry out thorough investigation on petition written against him by concerned petitioners from Rivers state , was yet to be  considered.

Uguru’s problem with the PDP senators arose from his “God for bid” response to a remark made by a PDP senator on Tuesday during his screening , that the journeys he made round the country before the last general elections was on the PDP platform.

Although he was made to apologize by the Senate President to the PDP senators when he was taken up by the minority leader, Godswill Akpabio but he was not forgiven by them as two other PDP senators , Eyinnaya Abaribe and Mao Ohuabunwa through different point of orders raised other issues bordering on alleged non declaration of assets, forgery of tax clearance certificate and questionable pastoral title against him.

Meanwhile , two other nominees, namely , Aisha Abubakar from Sokoto State and Professor Anwukah Anthony Gozie who earlier had problems of petitions against their nominations , are now free from it with withdrawal of such petitions from the petitioners.

Aside Amaechi and the last set of five nominees screened yesterday , other nominees already screened by the senate but yet to be confirmed as Minister- Designate, are Barrister Adebayo Shittu from Oyo State, Khadijat  Bukar Abba Ibrahim(Yobe) , Claudius Omoleye Daramola (Ondo) , , Geoffrey Onyeama( Enugu) and Brigadier Mohammed M. Dan-Ali (Zamfara) Others are, Barrister James E. Ocholi(Kogi) , Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed(Kaduna), Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno) , Senator Heineken Lokpobiri(Bayelsa) Professor Isaac Adewole Folorunsho (Osun) , Pastor Usani Usani Uguru (Cross River) and Abubakar Bwari Bawa (Niger).


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