Senate gets ministerial list - Lukman, Akunyili, Egwu, 10 others nominated
A source, who made this known to our correspondent in Abuja, said the list contained the names of 13 nominees.
However, he was able to give the names of only six of them.
They include a former Minister of Petroleum Resources and the President’s Honourary Adviser on Petroleum Matters, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman (Kaduna State); a former Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Sam Egwu; and the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, Prof. Dora Akunyili (Anambra State).
Also on the list are Mr. Ibrahim Lame (Bauchi State); Mr. Shettima Mustapha (Borno State); and Mr. Bubu Uwais (Kaduna State).
Although our correspondent in Abuja could not get the names of the remaining seven nominees, another source hinted that Senator Abubakar Gada (Sokoto) and Prof. Babatunde Oshotimehin of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS also made the list.
Section 147 of the 1999 Constitution makes it mandatory for the President to send the names of would-be ministers to the Senate for ratification.
The Section reads: “Any appointment to the office of minister of the government of the federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.”
As at 8pm on Monday, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Abba Aji, and key officials of his office could not be reached for comment as they were said to be in a meeting with the principal officers of the Senate when our correspondent visited.
The submission of the list of nominees came barely three weeks after the President dropped eight full ministers and 12 Ministers of State for reasons bordering on poor performance.
Two former ministers in the old cabinet –Prof. Adenike Grange (Health) and Mr. Gabriel Aduku — resigned following their alleged roles in the N300m unspent budget scam in April.
Our source claimed that the President of the Senate, Mr. David Mark, was making a strong case for a nominee from Benue State as replacement for Dr. Jerry Agada, one of the 20 ministers dropped by Yar’Adua on October 29, 2008.
Disagreement’s between the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris,. and other political leaders in the state is said to be responsible for the delay in the submission of names from the State.
The former ministers were Dr. Igwe Aja-Nwachuckwu (Education); Dr. Aliyu Umar-Modibbo (Federal Capital Territory); Alhaji Abdulrahman Gimba (Sports/Chairman, National Sports Commission); Mr. Charles Ugwuh (Commerce and Industry); and Hajiya Halima Alao (Environment/Housing).
Other dropped ministers were, Alhaja Saudatu Bungudu (Women Affairs); Chief Sarafa Isola (Mines/Steel Development); and Alhaji Mohammed Daggash (National Planning Commission).
While the ministers of state that were shown the way out of the Federal Executive Council include Chief Emmanuel Odusina (Energy; Gas); Hajiya Fatima Ibrahim (Energy; Power); Alhaji Haruna Hassan (Interior); Alhaji Adamu Waziri (Agriculture/Water Resources); Ahmed Bichi (Commerce and Industry); Mr. Jerry Agada (Education); and Senator John James Akpanudoedehe (FCT).
The rest were Alhaji Tijani Kaura (Foreign Affairs); Alhaji Ibrahim Nakande (Interior); Alhaji Haruna Hassan (Interior); Alhaji Ahmed Gusau (Mines and Steel); Mr. Felix Hyat (Aviation); Mr. John Emeka (Transportation); and Alhaji Ahmed Gusau (Mines and Steel Development.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Communications, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, had on October 2 said after a Federal Executive Council meeting that Yar’Adua had already selected those to serve as new ministers.
“That process I can assure you is completed but since the Senate, which is the confirming authority, is currently on recess, there is no wisdom in creating vacuums at a period that finishing touches are being put on the 2009 budget,” Adeniyi had said.
But the Senate responded to the Presidency’s claim, saying it was ready to screen the nominees once it had their names.
“We will treat it expeditiously as soon as a letter and the lists of the nominees are brought to the Senate,” the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Information, Sen. Ayogu Eze, had said.