While Nigerians anticipated a very detailed screening of Ministerial nominees by the Senate, this seems to be a far cry from the obvious as some past Senators and Governors have been given a free hand to simply appear before the red chambers,“take a bow and go”
One of the most controversial was the decision of the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio to absolve former Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai from responding to some allegations from a petition submitted against him (El-Rufai).
The Senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Sunday Karimi in his address referred to a petition submitted against the former Kaduna State Governor.
In a rather dramatic manner, the senator raised a brown envelope and in his words he said:
Mr Nominee, you did well in your previous offices, and there is no doubt about that, but there is a petition against you”
While this raised an uproar by some senators who faulted the petition and its manner of submission, the President of the Senate, Akpabio resisted the request for El-Rufai to respond.
Akpabio who intervened in the proceedings had this to say:
These are the nominees of Mr President. If it is something that is a formal petition before the Senate, we will look at it formally but there are certain petitions that we have to refer to the Presidency or security agencies to look at and that has nothing to do with us.
“I think by the time we are going with the issue of confirmation and approval, we will so advise. So, I will want to plead with my brother (El-Rufai) to take a bow. So, don’t bother about (addressing the petition). Thank you.”
A couple of Nigerians have raised concerns about the “take a bow and go” tradition of the upper legislative chambers, saying it is rather difficult to discern the capacity of these nominees without proper questioning.
It will be recalled that the senate has held a constitutional tradition to let ex Governors and Senators.
Reacting to criticisms, Senator Yari had this to say:
Yes, take a bow and go is a tradition. Anybody you would have seen, ‘take a bow and go’, is for the prominent citizens that serve the country for a long… or his or her track record is known to every Nigerian.
The National Assembly has a tradition, if you served as a senator or an Honourable member, it’s an honour to read your CV and maybe explain yourself which they all have the record to ask you to take a bow and go.
Although many Nigerian have also opined that some of these past leaders who are presently nominees may have had questionable issues from history and as such would require thorough examination.