The Senate has told President Muhammadu Buhari to submit the list of ministerial nominees by Friday or he will have to wait for the screening and confirmation process to occur after its members return from their two-month annual recess.
Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, Chairman, Senate ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, disclosed this in an interview on Saturday.
The Senate spokesperson stated that the upper chamber will proceed on its annual recess on Friday in line with the National Assembly’s calendar if President Buhari fails to transmit the list.
He, however, explained that the Senate is not giving the president an ultimatium, noting that he (Buhari) is at liberty to transmit the list at his given time and that it will be in the national interest for the lawmakers to screen the ministerial nominees even when on recess.
“If the list does not come before Friday, the Senate will proceed on its annual recess. We are not giving the president any ultimatum. The schedule of the Senate will go ahead if the Senate does not receive the list. The list is the only thing that can hold us back,” Senator Adeyeye told the Punch.
“However, any time they submit the list, we will consider it. It is not our responsibility to put pressure on the President. We can be recalled whenever the list is submitted even if we are already on recess, in the overriding national interest.’’
Also speaking, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Senate Minority Leader, corroborated the Senate spokesperson’s position.
He, however, insisted that the Senate will keep to its schedule even if the president transmits the list during its recess.
“The Senate will keep to its schedule,” Abaribe said.
Asked whether the list will be transmitted before the Friday deadline, Senator Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said: “I will not be able to speak and it is not wise for me to speak. That is my response.”
The Senate President had on July 10, said President Buhari will submit the list of ministerial nominees before that particular week ran out.
But the president countered the position the next day, saying he needed time to scrutinise and know the nominees properly before transmitting the list to the National Assembly.