By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
Some ministerial nominees with legislative experience at both the national and state assemblies, were yesterday given the opportunity to take a bow during their screening by the Senate.
They include a former Minority Leader of the upper legislative chamber, Senator George Akume from Benue State and one of his predecessors, Senator Godswill Akpabio from Akwa Ibom State.
While Akume represented Benue North West from 6th to 8th Assembly, Akpabio represented Akwa Ibom South for only one term in the 8th Assembly, but they were both two terms governors of their states under the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Others, who were also allowed to take a bow are the former Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi based on his experience as the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Senator Olorunnibe Mamora, also a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and lawmaker at the upper legislative chamber for two terms.
Another beneficiary of the “take a bow and go” was a serving member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Nwajuba from Imo and Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor from Anambra State, the only woman screened for the day.
Senator Emmanuel Oker-Jef (PDP Benue North West) had called on the Senate to maintain the tradition of allowing former lawmakers nominated for ministerial positions to take a bow without being asked questions.
Other senators, who urged the senate to accord their former colleagues the privilege include Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
The lawmakers had in a voice vote put across by the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan resolved to allow the nominees go without a question.
In his remarks, Lawan said the nation would be better when the executive and the legislature work together in the interest of the people and therefore urged the nominees to lead the vanguard that would result in the delivery of democratic dividends when they become ministers.
Speaking with journalists after his screening, Akpabio said he would do his best to assist the government deliver on its obligations to Nigerians.
According to him, the issues of insecurity, power and revamping of agriculture were key to growing the economy and make Nigeria better.
He said there was the need to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC for better performance of the oil sector and account for any single crude oil produced in Nigeria.
He said although, it was the prerogative of the president to designate position, noting that he would contribute maximally in any sector deployed to serve.
Akpabio said there was the need to create opportunities for youths employment.
He said Nigerians should encourage President Muhammadu Buhari to further deliver on the dividends of democracy given his transparent disposition.