By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Christiana Ekpa
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, yesterday removed senator Andy Ubah as the chairman of the Senate committee of Public Accounts, which is one of the most prominent committees of the senate, just as he replaced senator Fatima Raji Razaki, who was the chairperson of the senate committee on Trade and Investments.
Senator Andy Uba from Anambra state and Senator Fatima Raji Rasaki from Ekiti state therefore became the major casualty in the minor committee reshuffle effected by Saraki.
Aside from the minor reshuffle which saw the Senate President moving around Chairmen of six committees, one new committees was created, bringing up the total committees in the Senate to 69.
The Senate President who said the minor reshuffle was to ensure efficiency, however made Senator Andy Uba the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, while Senator Fatima Raji Rasaki is now to head the less glamorous Culture and Tourism Committee, earlier headed by Mathew Uroghide.
Senator Sabo Mohammed has been appointed by Saraki to become the chairperson of the Senate committee on Trade and Investment.
Recall that the Interior Committee which senator Uba is to head now, was formerly headed by Senator George Sekibo, who was removed by the Supreme Court from the chamber and asked to be replaced by Andrew Uchendo.
However, Uchendo is yet to be sworn-in by the Senate President as a senator.
Uba’s removal was mainly instigated by his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) where he contested and lost the race for the APC Governorship ticket for the 2018 Anambra State Governorship election.
He lost to his former godson, Tony Nwoye.
The Public Account committee is the only constitutional recognised committee of the parliament, which by convention, is headed by a member of the opposition party.
The position has been given to Senator Matthew Urhogide from Edo state, who used to head the Culture and Tourism Committee.
Also, in the shakeup, Senator Stella Oduah was upgraded from her former position as committee Vice Chairman as she is now to head the committee on Cooperation and Integration as the substantive Chairman.
The position was formerly held by senator Abubakar Sani Danladi who was also sent packing from the senate by the Supreme Court.
Senator Adeola Olamilekan from Lagos state is to lead the newly created Senate Committee on Local Content.
Senator Bukar Mustapha from Katsina State is to head the Senate Committee on Capital Market.
The position was held by late Senator Isiaka Adeleke.
Also the Senate President announced the appointment of four Vice Chairmen.
According to the new appointments, Senator Mohammed Sanni Mustapha is now to function as Vice Chairman, Trade and Investment, Senator Nurudeen Adeleke, Vice Chairman, Communication, Senator Godswill Akpabio as Vice Chairman, Local Content Committee while Senator Babajide Omoworare is now the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
Note that this will bring to third the number of time the Senate President will be effecting reshuffling of the committee leadership of the senate since his emergence in 2015.