Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
Plenary at the Senate was rowdy for about 30 minutes after its President, Bukola Saraki, read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari seeking legislative confirmation of appointments into the board of the Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency.
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, raised a point or order to protest against non-compliance by the President with his appointment of heads of Federal Government departments, agencies and parastatals.
According to him, the recent appointments made by Buhari and for which he had sought legislative approval showed that the nominees were from particular parts of the country.
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The Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan, however argued that the appointments were balanced ”if you look at the larger picture.”
Saraki pointed out that the Senate would not act on sentiments and opinion, ruling that the Committee on Federal Character investigate Buhari’s appointments and present a report to the chamber on Tuesday.
The chamber, however, became noisy as the lawmakers shouted ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
Apart from Ekweremadu, three lawmakers from the South-East successively raised points of order to ask the chamber to suspend further consideration and screening of nominees pending the presentation and adoption of the report by the Committee on Federal Character.
Those who protested were senators Chukwuka Utazi, Mao Ohuabunwa and Obinna Ogba.
Saraki, however, insisted that only the report by the committee would determine if the protesters were right or wrong, and if the Senate would continue to act on Buhari’s requests for confirmation of appointments.