All the 38 Ministarial Nominees have now been confirmed by the Senate as Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The upper house which adjourned plenary for about ten minutes to pass its votes and proceedings on the screening had to speed up the exercise to enable the Acting President swear in the Ministers on Thursday.
The Acting President has commended the Senate for the speedy confirmation of the 38 nominees among whom are Prof. Dora Akunyili, Odein Ajumogobia, Diezani Allison Madueke, and Shehu Musa Yar’Ardua’s son, Murtalla Yar’adua.
The appearance of Prof. Akunyili before the Senate on Monday had almost torn the upper legislative chamber apart when she was accused by a senator of being a part of the cabal. She was also accused of cooking for the first lady, Turai, allegations that Akunyili stoutly denied.
Until the cabinet dissolution last week Wednesday, Akunyili was the Minister of Information and Communications.
The Ministers are expected to be sworn-in tomorrow.
The Senate, through a voice vote, confirmed the nomination of all the 38 people it had so far screened but was silent on the nomination of Umar Aliyu from Taraba State as he was not called up for screening though his name was listed in the order paper.
Senate President David Mark said Senate had to expedite the screening and clearance in furtherance of the application of the doctrine of necessity to ensure the smooth running of government in the country.
Senators from the north had kicked against Akunyili’s nomination following the perception from some elements in the north that she worked against the ailing President at the peak of agitations for his removal on account of his ill health.
The former minister incurred the wrath of the north when she presented a memo at the Council meeting seeking it to discuss the health of the President to enable it vote on the matter in line with section 144 of the constitution.
Some lawmakers from the north had mounted pressure on the Acting President to replace her with Senator Joy Emordi whose election was annulled by the Appeal Court but the agitation fell on deaf ears as Jonathan still retained her on the list.
However majority of the Senators at plenary Wednesday voted in her favour despite dissenting voices from lawmakers from the north led by Senator Kanti Bello and other senators from Katsina, home state of the ailing President.
Out of the 38 cleared ministers 14 were members of the dissolved cabinet while the remaining 25 are fresh appointees.
The re-appointed ministers whose nominations were confirmed yesterday are Fidelia Njeze (Enugu), Adetokunbo Kayode (Ondo), Dora Akunyili (Anambra), Godswill Orubebe (Delta), Nuhu Way (Kaduna), Odein Ajumogobia (Rivers) and Akinlabi Olasunkanmi (Osun). Others are Dieziani Allison-Madueke (Bayelsa) Isa Bio, (Kwara), John Odey (Cross River), Remi Babalola, (Oyo), Humphrey Abbah, (Kogi), Idi Hong (Adamawa) Shamsudeen Usman (Kano) and Sanusi Dagash (Borno).
Confirmed new nominees include Chukwuemeka Wogu (Abia), Josephine Anenih (Anambra), Labaran Maku (Nasarawa), Bala Mohammed, a serving senator from Bauchi, Suleiman Bello (Zamfara), Murtala Yar’Adua (Katsina), Nduese Essien (Akwa Ibom) and Josephine Tapgun (Plateau).
Also confirmed are Mohammed Adoke (Kogi), Ernest Olubolade (Ekiti), Jibril Martins-Kuye (Ogun), Chris Ogiemwonyi (Edo) and Emmanuel Iheanacho (Imo).
Others are Olusegun Aganga (Lagos), M.K.Abubakar (Kebbi), Adamu Waziri, (Yobe), Awodele Adewale-Alao (Ogun), Abubakar Mohammed (Gombe), Yusuf Suleiman, (Sokoto), Ruqaiya Rufai (Jigawa), Musa Sada (Katsina), Sheik Abddalla (Niger) and Samuel Odeh (Benue).
Nominations are still expected from Ebonyi and Taraba states.