* As Tambuwal leads Lai Mohammed to Saraki
By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–Worried that some of his ministerial nominees may not scale through the Senate screening, expected to commence next Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari, has begged senators of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for a soft landing for the nominees.
The president, who is said to be highly disturbed that without personal intervention, some of his party chiefs instrumental to his success at the presidential election would be frustrated during the screening exercise, has asked his Senior Special Assistant to the National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, to immediately reach out to the PDP senators.
The development came just as the All Progressives Congress, APC spokesman and ministerial nominee, Alhaji Lai Mohammed engaged former Speaker, House of Representatives and current governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal to beg the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for a soft landing at the screening exercise.
Lai Mohammed,Vanguard gathered, was led by Tambuwal to Saraki on Monday night at his Maitama, Abuja residence.
The president’s emissary, Ita Enang reached the senators of the opposition party through their Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, yesterday evening.
The duo, who hail from Akwa Ibom State, after the meeting, briefed newsmen where they said the meeting was aimed at forging a common ground for the success of the ongoing APC-led federal administration.
Speaking during the press briefing, Senator Godswill Akpabio said: “We will do our best to ensure robust debate, fine-tune the policies of the APC administration to better the lots of Nigerians, and to ensure that Nigeria gets out of the current economic doldrums.
“So far, on a personal note, I am impressed with the list that was sent by the President.
“I believe that he has kept to his word by ensuring that we sort out a lot of people of integrity that can salvage the country.
“But of course, the Senate will still do its work of screening and re-screening, and I pray that more than 70 or 80 percent of the list should pass through.”
On his part, Senator Ita Enang said: “Part of our job is to do a lot of reach out and reach out to all the sections. And the past is gone, this is a new beginning.”