Following his confirmation as a minister, today March 11, by the Nigerian Senate, Musiliu Obanikoro, has said he holds no grudge against All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators from Lagos who stood against his nomination.
Premium Times reports that, Obanikoro was reappointed by President Goodluck Jonathan to soothe him after losing his bid to become the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Lagos.
His nomination came after he was named in a leaked tape as the principal actor in Ekiti State election rigging in 2014.
The Nigerian government has refused to investigate the claims.
On Wednesday, the Nigeria Senate approved Obanikoro’s nomination after repeated deferments, despite protests from senators from Lagos State, Obanikoro’s home state.
The Senate president, David Mark, also ignored protests from other APC, lawmakers who moved to stop the clearance over the Ekiti scandal.
The Senate allowed Obanikoro, to “take a bow and go”, without answering questions, a privilege reserved for former federal lawmakers.
APC lawmakers responded by walking out of the session in protest.
Speaking via his Twitter handle, @Mobanikoro Wednesday afternoon, Obanikoro said the position of the Lagos senators strengthened Nigeria’s democracy.
“I want to use this medium to express my profound gratitude to my distinguished colleagues in the Senate for their kind support,” he said. “I am particularly grateful to the President of the Senate and other principal officers representing the Senate majority and minority.”
“I have no ill feelings towards the Senators from Lagos who stood against me. Their position has amplified the strength of our democracy.”
“In times like these, we learn that there is no winner or loser and that our shared hopes are greater than the politics that divide us,” Obanikoro said.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has praised the Senate for approving the nomination of Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria