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Saraki Under Fire Over Misleading Tweet On Service Chiefs

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja – After misleading the general public that President Mohammadu Buhari could appoint substantive Service Chiefs  without confirmation of Senate, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said their appointment will still be confirmed by the senate on resumption next week.

Saraki had on Monday evening few hours after the appointment of the service chiefs, responded to a tweet sent to him by one Chinedu Peters that when would the senate reconvene to confirm their appointments, tweeted back by saying ”
Appointment of service chiefs is an exclusive function of Mr President. Senate can only approve Ministerial, parastatals etc”.

A response that instantly put him in the eye of the storm with attendant barrage of attacks by social media users, condemning his ignorance of constitutional responsibility of the senate in that respect.

Many of the online commentators who attacked him, wondered why as a Senator in the 7th Senate, he could still make such a blunder

Whereas, such confirmation was first done in January 2014 when former President Goodluck Jonathan forwarded the nominees of Service Chiefs to the Senate for approval.
The  intensity of the attacks, made the media office of the Senate President to  issue separate statement to remedied the blunder.

While the first statement issued by Bamikole Omishore, the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Social Media, alleged that Saraki’s tweet on the subject matter was not up to date, another one issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu said his tweet was completely misinterpreted.

Omishore’s statement reads:
This is to clarify the earlier position which was not up to date  and does not represent the position of the Senate President on  the issue of screening of the newly appointed service chiefs .

The Senate will perform its constitutional duty when it receives communication from the President on the appointments”

But the second statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary went further to widen the scope of the controversy by stating that Saraki!’s response was based on two fold of enquiries tweeted to him.

The statement reads: “The attention of the Media Office of the Senate President has been drawn to a story making the rounds to the effect that the Senate  does not need to screen or confirm the new Service Chiefs appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“However, we want to make it abundantly clear that based on inquiries made to the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki on whether the Senate was consulted before the appointment of new Service Chiefs was announced, he had in response tweeted that the appointment of Service Chiefs is the exclusive function of the President as stipulated by the Constitution.

“Let it be known that his comment is now being misinterpreted to say the Senate will neither screen nor confirm the new Service Chiefs. This is far from the truth.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Saraki has said his comment is without prejudice to extant laws and court pronouncements on the issue and therefore that the Senate will do the needful when the list of the new Service Chiefs is sent to it by Mr. President.


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