Nigeria: Alasoadura, Shehuri Take a Bow As Senate Resumes Screening of Ministerial Nominees

Nigerian Senate.

The Senate resumed screening of ministerial nominees on Thursday.

A former Ondo senator, Tayo Alasoadura, was the first to be screened. He was, however, not grilled by the Senate as the lawmakers, in their tradition, asked him to take a bow.

Prior to his exit, Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central, APC), explained that the need to explain to the public, the essence of the tradition.

According to him, the reason for asking past legislators to take a bow and go is because they are believed to have treated issues on the questions they are being asked.

"The media has been awash with our tradition of asking former legislators to take a bow and go. Why this is important is that the public need to understand that former legislators are subjected to the same level of screening.

"What we have done is to screen, nobody has been confirmed. They will submit their credentials like every other person. The essence is to be sure that they are what they claim to be. The constitution is very clear, you must be qualified to serve.

He said it is "important that we emphasise to the public that the only reason they are asked to take a bow and go is because the questions they are asked to clarify are things that have already been made clear.

In his reaction, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the senate has its tradition and the tradition is that members of the national assembly who are nominated for any appointment at all, have this privilege.

"It remains the position of this senate. We are not covering anyone. We will still scrutinise the submissions that they have submitted. So far, this tradition is maintained," he said.

The Senate minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, described the nominee as a good man.

"Being there, we are sure you will be a good ambassador of this chamber. Whichever sector you are placed, don't be like the ministers who are very good to call us and stop taking calls later.

"Represent us very well when you get there," he said.

Next to be screened was former Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri.

Mr Shehuri, who was a former Member of the House of Representatives, was given the same privilege.

After he introduced himself, both leaders of the Senate asked him to take a bow.

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