The Senate has given President Muhammadu Buhari till Friday to submit the list of ministerial nominees for screening because the red chamber would proceed on its two-month annual recess from July 26 to September 26.
Buhari, who won election in February and was sworn in on May 29, has continued to delay the submission of the ministerial list, arguing that he will need to take his time to appoint the people he knows.
The Chairman, Senate ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, on Saturday, said the red chamber would proceed on its annual two-month recess this week if the Senate did not get the ministerial list by Friday.
He said, “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.”
Adeyeye said the President was at liberty to send the list whenever he pleased and that the Senate also had a duty to consider it in the overriding national interest.
He added, “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.’’
Corroborating this position, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, stated that the Senate would go on its annual recess on schedule.
“The Senate will keep to its schedule”, Abaribe said.
However, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, was asked whether Buhari would forward the list of ministerial nominees to the National Assembly before Thursday, next week, but he refused to comment.
“I will not be able to speak and it is not wise for me to speak. That is my response,” he stated.
The upper legislative chamber would require at least two weeks to screen the 36 ministerial nominees being expected from the President.