There are strong indications that the former governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau may be named minister to replace Hadjia Jamilla Salik, whose screening was halted in the Senate yesterday.
The development was even as the Senate unanimously confirmed 11 ministerial nominees as substantive ministers, among who are former national security adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau (Zamfara), former Nigerian ambassador to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro (Lagos) and nine others.
Nonetheless, last minute efforts by the three senators from Osun State led by Senator Olusola Adeyeye to stop the confirmation of Abduljelili Oyewale Adesiyan could not sway the senators who on a voice vote confirmed the man. This was after the president of the senate had ruled Adeyeye out of order.
Other nominees confirmed are: Hon Mohammed Wakil ( Borno), Amb Aminu Wali (Kano), Mrs Akon Etim Eyakenyi (Akwa Ibom), Lawrencia Labaran Mallam (Kaduna), Dr T W Danagogo (Rivers), Asabe Asmau Ahmed (Niger), Boni Haruna (Adamawa) and Dr Khaliru Alhassan (Sokoto).
Sources within the senate chambers disclosed that the senators might have been alerted that the name of Shekarau who recently dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could be forwarded alongside four others to replace the recently sacked ministers.
However, during the confirmation process on the floor, Senator Adeyeye raised Order 14 of Senate Rules as amended, which deals with the rights and privileges of senators to object to the confirmation of Abduljelili Adesiyan on the grounds that the three senators from Osun are against his confirmation as a substantive minister.
“This is the first time that we are opposing any nomination brought before this Senate. This opposition is not brought frivolously. This opposition is not brought on the grounds of partisan politicking,” he stated.
He said they were opposed to Adesiyan’s nomination because of the issue of Chief Bola Ige hanging around his neck and the fact that they do not believe that the president of the country will be best served by him.
The Senate president, however, ruled him out of order, saying “I think we must put all these behind us. This is my own honest advice. This House cannot become a law court, where we prosecute and discharge people.
“If he is not prosecuted in the law court, anything we do here is just an allegation. Thank God you said the issue is not only about Bola Ige. He did not nominate himself; he was nominated by Mr President and we all heard the voice votes here; and if you have an objection to the voice votes, you can call for a division if that is what you want. But I think from the voice votes, it is clear to everybody here that this nominee is approved by this House. So, I don’t see where your privilege has become an issue. Therefore, I rule you out of order”.