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Okpozo to Saraki: Don’t play politics with screening of ministerial nominees

As IYC faults ministerial nominees

By Emma Amaize & Simon Ebegbulem

BENIN—SECOND Republic senator and elder statesman, Senator Francis Okpozo, has admonished the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, not to play politics with the screening of ministerial nominees, saying the interest of Nigerians must come above the personal interests of senators.

Okpozo, who was reacting to fears that the alleged frosty relationship between the Senate President and leaders of All Progressives Congress, APC, might frustrate the screening of the nominees, warned that such action might not only put the Senate in bad light before Nigerians, but also incur the wrath of Nigerians who voted massively for President Muhammadu Buhari.

Okpozo, who also is a leader of the APC in Delta State, said: “Anybody who has an open mind and the interest of this nation, cannot on his own create a situation to obstruct any arm of government. Every arm of government is for the betterment of the nation and the people. If the process adopted by President Buhari in forwarding his nominees to the President of the Senate is obstructed by the lawmakers, then the interest of the senators is not for the good of the nation. Such action is myopic, it is unethical and injurious to the wellbeing of the entire nation.”

He stressed the need for both the executive and the legislature to “unite and resolve their differences if there are any, so that Nigeria can move forward. The friction between the President and the Senate President cannot override the collective interest of Nigeria because both of them were elected by Nigerians. It is my hope that the President of the Senate and his team will not hinder the screening of the ministerial nominees. This does not mean that the Senate has no legal and moral right to screen the nominees. It is its constitutional right to do so. But let members do it with an open mind and for the interest of the nation so that the President’s nominees are not rejected. No quarrel lasts forever. It is good they tolerate one another for the interest of Nigerians and should forgive one another.”

Meanwhile the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has expressed displeasure that most of President Buhari’s ministerial nominees are recycled politicians and former members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rather than the agents of change.

Spokesman of the council, Mr. Eric Omare, in a statement, said, “We are disappointed that persons with allegations of corruption pending before anti-graft agencies and are under investigations were nominated. This is an obvious compromise on the anti-corruption war.”



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