Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed

Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed

The ministerial screening and confirmation finally came to an end yesterday, October 29 but not without some drama.

The issue of focus in national dailies today, October 30, is the drama that ensued at the Senate plenary yesterday as senators belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) staged a walkout during the confirmation of Rotimi Amaechi as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

PDP senator stood against moves by the Senate to confirm Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state as minister, The Punch reports.

Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed
The Punch front page, October 30.

Trouble started with the presentation of the report of the Senate committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions which considered a petition against Amaechi’s nomination. The chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, who presented the report of the investigation said the panel could not recommend Amaechi for confirmation because the matter which gave birth to the petition was still a subject of litigation.

A heated argument ensued between APC and PDP senators, which subsequently led to senators belonging to the opposition party walking out of the chamber.

READ ALSO: How Amaechi Scaled Through PDP's Hurdle At The Senate


PDP senators argued that Amaechi should not be confirmed based on the recommendation of the ethics committee, The Nation reports.

However, Senator Babajide Omoworare (APC Osun East) picked holes in their arguments, citing Sections 147(2) and 66 of the Constitution, which says where a law is in conflict with the Constitution, such law “must automatically bow to the supremacy of the Constitution."

Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed
The Nation front page, October 30.

As Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC Benue Northeast) rose to speak, the PDP senators started walking out of the chambers, shunning the APC senators plea not to leave.

But Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy Senate president, who is also a member of the PDP did not join in the walkout as he stayed back till the end of the proceedings.

Their action was ignored by the Senate president and APC members who went ahead to confirm Amaechi in their absence.

Daily Sun reports that minority leader, Akpabio said they walked out because rules were not followed.

Speaking to newsmen after they walked out, Akpabio said the Senate’s rule is to stay action in any matter in court and since the nomination of Amaechi is a subject of litigation, the Senate should have suspended action until the court resolves the matter.

Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed
Daily Sun front page, October 30.

He pointed out that their protest was not against Amaechi’s nomination but it was aimed at ensuring that things are done according to due process.

The minority leader added that the PDP was never in support of Amaechi’s confirmation.

This Day reports that the PDP senators assembled in Hearing Room One to brief the press after walking out of the chamber.

Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed
This Day front page, October 30.

Responding to a question on how this would affect their relationship with Saraki in view of the fact that his emergence as Senate president was made possible by the PDP caucus, Akpabio said it was incorrect to reason that Saraki rode on the back of the PDP to become Senate president because Saraki was elected unopposed. He explained that there was no challenge from an opponent on the day he became Senate president.

READ ALSO: Ministers: Rivers APC Praises Senate, Buhari Over Amaechi

Also, a PDP senator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had no choice but to walk out because it was very clear that they did not have to numbers to defeat the APC.

He said: “The only option available to us was to walk out. “The last time he (Amaechi) was screened and we sat there not saying anything, people were critical of us because our presence was said to have conferred legitimacy to the exercise.

“So this time, we had to walk out. We could not do anything; they were larger in number. So there was no sense going to a battle that you knew you would lose from the start. That’s what happened.”

After much intrigues, drama and manipulations, Amaechi was finally confirmed alongside 17 others, for ministerial appointments, The Guardian reports.

The others who were confirmed are Adebayo Shittu, Khadijah Abba Ibrahim, Heineken Lokpobiri, Cladius Omoleye Daramola, Baba Shehuri Mustapha, Ocholi E. James and Adewole Isaac Folorunso.

Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed
The Guardian front page, October 30.

Others are Bawa Bwari, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Zainab S. Ahmed, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, Pastor Usani Usani Uguru, Mr. Okechukwu Enyinma Enelamah, Prof. Anwukah Anthony Gozie, Mohammed Musa Bello, Adamu Adamu and Aisha Abubakar.

Intrigues, Drama As Amaechi, 17 Others Are Confirmed
Complete Sports front page, October 30.



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