By Inalegwu Shaibu
THE Senate, Thursday, approved the request from Acting President Goodluck Jonathan seeking its approval to appoint five special advisers.
The approval was sequel to a letter from Acting President Jonathan dated March 5, in which he requested for the approval of five special advisers to enable him discharge his duties effectively.
During the confirmation of the request in the Senateâ€™s Committee of the Whole, Senator Kanto Bello (PDP, Katsina North)Â coming through Section 151 of the 1999 Constitution asked for the full disclosure of the remunerations of the five special advisers.
But, his request was waved aside by the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, who said though his request was valid, there is a bill before the National Assembly to answer his questions.
Other senators who spoke in confirmation of the approval, acknowledged the urgency for the appointment of the special advisers by Jonathan.
Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta South), while contributing, observed that the task before the Acting President is so much that additional experienced handsÂ would be necessary.
Manager said, â€œBecause of the national challenges that we have, I therefore support the request by the Acting President. We should approve 5 additional special advisers for the Acting President in order to help him move the nation forward to the next level.â€
Senator Bode Olajumoke (PDP, Ondo North) towing the same line said Nigeria is a critical period that requires the coming together of people of great intellectual abilities to work moving the country forward.
He said, â€œGiven the peculiar situation we are in and the amount of the volume of work the Acting President is presently facing, I believe the request for 5 additional special advisers is in order.â€
Also contributing in support of the request Senator Umar Dahiru ( asked for clarification on the relevance of the Special Advisers at the end of the expiration of Acting Presidency of Dr. Jonathan
He said: â€œI donâ€™t have any objection. But there was request for 15 Special Advisers which we approved. We are yet to know whether he had filled those vacancies. But Section 151 (3) says that those appointed shall cease when Jonathan ceases to hold office. So what is going to be the position of those 5 special advisers when Jonathan is gone?â€
Mark gave the clarification by pointing out that the appointments of the five special advisers would cease as soon as the office ceases.
Differing a bit, Senator Grace Bent (PDP, Adamawa South) urged the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to take cognizance of the women folks in the appointment of the five special advisers.
At the end of the consideration of the report in the Committee of the Whole, the Senate Presidentâ€™s question on whether the request should be approved by the senate was supported by all the senators in the voice vote.