Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Ministerial List Will Face Serious Opposition - Senator

Some senators have said President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list will meet serious opposition on the floor if it does not cover the 36 states of the federation.
According to Mao Ohuabunwa, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Abia North, the ministerial nominees list is expected to be completed in line with the Constitution, the Guardian reports.

He said: “The Constitution does not support appointment of ministers in batches. Every state must be represented but if the number is not complete, some of us may raise constitutional issues. If we have to wait for another three months for him to send another list comprising representatives of other states, it means those states would be non-functional.”

Ohuabunwa stated that the screening would be stringent and done in accordance with the law. Serious and in-depth knowledge would be confirmed.

“If any nominee has any skeleton in his cupboard, we will send him back to the President,” he added.

At the weekend, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petitions said the Senate will start receiving petitions against Buhari’s ministerial nominees on Tuesday. According to him, the petitions will start coming in after the list is made public on Tuesday.

Speaking on the issue of petitions, Ohuabunwa said they would not ignore them in the screening process.

He explained that the Senate would not see a strong petition alleging corruption and ignore it, adding that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would want to be remembered for curbing corruption.

“Even if it means writing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to give us a report, we will do so,” Ohuabunwa said.

According to him, since the present administration came to power, it would be counter-productive to overlook any allegations of corruption levelled against any nominee.

In response to a report that President Buhari might want to be the minister of petroleum, Ohuabunwa said if he wants to be minister he must be screened and approved by the Senate.

Senator Dino Melaye, the chairman of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Publicity, earlier said that the screening of ministerial nominees will not be business as usual as only the right people will be confirmed as ministers.

At the weekend, chieftains of some opposition political parties and activists expressed their displeasure with the ministerial list which according to them falls short of expectations. Some expressed doubt that the president was committed to fighting corruption with the calibre of the people he intended to appoint as ministers.

Buhari’s ministerial list was finally unveiled today and reactions have already started pouring in.