By Stephen Ubanna
Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, President, appears to have sent a signal to him , he would no longer take any excuse from him over the continued delay of the submission of the ministerial list to the upper Legislative Chamber for screening and Consideration.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was instrumental for the emergence of the National Assembly leadership was said to have held a dinner for them at the Presidential villa recently. The dinner may have provided opportunity for the President to talk things over with the Senate leadership, Particular, Lawan. Note that there was pressure on him to release the ministerial list as most of the invited guests who were rumoured to be on the ministerial list wanted to be cocksure that it was true that they made the list before leaving the Villa.
The President was said to hold a closed door meeting with the Senate President but never made any mention when the list would be submitted to the Senate. He may have kept the Senate leadership wondering when he assured them that the ministerial list would not be delayed. Subsequent assurances by the President may have informed why the Senate President disclosed to his Colleagues at plenary on Wednesday , JULY 10, 2019, that the President would transmit the ministerial list for the consideration and approval of the Senate before the end of that week but it turned to be a rouse.
Lawan , who has been dubbed as a rubber-stamp of the Executive , because of the circumstances that brought him to power, may want to prove to Nigerians and the Opposition People’s Democratic Party , PDP, he could hold his ground when it matters.
This is evident going by the recent marching order given to the Katsina state born Nigerian President to submit the list of his ministerial nominees to the Senate without further delay to expedite action on their screening and approval. Political watchers believe that the APC dominated Senate could take two weeks to conclude exercise because the returnee ministers may not be made to go through the same rigours as the new nominees as they would simply bow and go.
The lawmakers, according to National Assembly sources are not happy with the President that he wants to toe the path of his first term in office by running the government without ministers for months after being sworn into office by Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN.
Lawan may have sent a subtle threat to him to facilitate release the ministerial nominees list to the Senate between now and Friday, July, 26, 2019 or he should be ready to run his government , for a longer time without ministers. The Senate President, who could no longer pretend that all not well , was said to have made it clear to the President that the Senators would proceed on a two- month annual recess, beginning from the very Friday.
Going by the 9th National Assembly Calendar, the Lawmakers are meant to proceed on its annual recess on July 26 and resume on September 26, 2019, to continue their legislative work. It is not yet clear whether Buhari would bow to the Senatorial pressures as he had repeatedly told the National Assembly leadership that he was taking his time in order to appoint people who he personally knows and who believe in the party programme to work with him this time around.
The President who is not happy that he could not fulfill most of his electioneering Campaign promises in his first term in office blamed it on working with strange people he never knew their Capability personal as they were nominated by the party National Executive Council, NEC. It was an indictment on Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state and National Chairman of the Party.
The Senate President may have to watch it to avoid falling into the same trap with Bukola Saraki, a former Senate President who was sabotaged by his Colleagues who misrepresented him before Buhari, forcing him to believe that he was working against his success in government. Adedayo Adeyeye, Chairman, Senate adhoc Committee, on Media and Public Relations, may be sing different song as he had said that the President cannot be given an ultimatum to submit his ministerial list to the red Chamber.
The Senate ad-hoc Committee Chairman had said that the President was at liberty to send the ministerial nominee list whenever he pleased , an indication that he could decide to hold it back for the next six months, and nothing wrong it. Adeyeye may have made mockery of the Senate that they exist at the instance of the President , when he said that they have a duty to consider the ministerial list whenever the President deem it necessary to submit in the’’ overriding interest of the nation’’.
Adeyeye, who could not hide his feelings said they could be recalled whenever the list is ready even if they are on recess to consider it. While the APC Senators are eager to receive the ministerial list from the President , which political watchers was a mere formality as it would be rubber-stamped, the Opposition PDP, Senators , are already in the mood of the recess . Enyinnaya Abaribe, an Abia state elected Senator on the platform of the PDP, and the party minority leader, who would not want to hear that recess might be postpone because of the delay in the ministerial list has made it clear to his cohorts that the Senators would go on annual recess as scheduled.