The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has indicated that it has only five days more to wait for President Muhammadu Buhari to submit the list of his ministerial appointees before it proceeds on its two-month annual vacation, according to the country’s legislative calendar.
In line with the calendar, the National Assembly is to go on its annual recess on July 26 and resume on September 26.
In an interview with Sunday PUNCH on Saturday, the Chairman, Senate ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, said the red chamber would proceed on its annual two-month recess this week if the Senate did not get the ministerial list by Friday.
He said, “If the list does not come before Friday, the Senate will proceed on its annual recess.”
He, however, clarified that the Senate was not issuing an ultimatum to the President on the matter, but was just keeping him abreast of the schedule of the National Assembly.
“We are not giving the president an ultimatum. The schedule of the Senate will go ahead if the Senate does not receive the list. The list is the only thing that can hold us back.”
Adeyeye said the President was at liberty to send the list whenever he pleased and that the Senate also had a duty to consider it in the overriding national interest.
“However, any time they submit the list, we will consider it. It is not our responsibility to put pressure on the President. We can be recalled whenever the list is submitted even if we are already on recess, in the overriding national interest”, he said.
Punch also quoted another Senator, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, as saying that the Senate would go on its annual recess on schedule.
Meanwhile, if the House’s tradition is anything to go by, it would take the upper legislative chamber at least two weeks to screen the 36 ministerial nominees being expected from the executive arm.