BY Henry Umoru & Inalegwu Shaibu
…I was under pressure— Minister
ABUJA—Senate has described the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, as a public officer who talks carelessly without first thinking of the implications of such utterances.
Senate President, David Mark, who made the comments yesterday during plenary, in response to claims by Maku that National Assembly resolutions are not binding on the executive arm of government, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call his Minister to order.
He threatened that the Senate would not hesitate to call for the sacking of any minister that get involves in disparaging the National Assembly.
Mark said: “I think the Minister of Information is a careless talker. He talks very carelessly. He did not think properly. He is not an educator and we need to educate him. I hope the President cautions him and calls him to order.
“And I think next time he does that, we will take a resolution here that any minister who talks carelessly be removed because there was really no need for that.”
Mark also called into question the tradition of ‘bow and go’ approach in screening of ministerial nominees, observing that the comments by Maku was indicative of the levity of his screening at the Senate.
He said: “I think this is a hard lesson for Senators who ask ministers to take a bow and go.”
Maku was later summoned by the Senate to clarify his statements on National Assembly resolutions.
He told the Committee that his statement was misinterpreted, adding that the comments were not intended to disrespect the National Assembly.
He further admitted before the committee he was made a minister upon the adoption of a resolution of the Senate by the President and noted that resolutions of the National Assembly are binding on the executive arm of government, as well being important tolls for good governance of the country.
He said: “I have no reason to denigrate the authority of the highest legislative body. The Senate, being the highest legislative body, has played very constructive role in the stabilisation of Nigeria’s democracy.
“I have no reason personally or individually to disparage the Senate. If that comment has been misinterpreted to mean that the Federal Government does not respect resolutions of the Senate, I tender my apology.”