Why Buhari mustn’t vindicate Saraki’s Senate Presidency – AN EDITORIAL

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President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, won without doubt 2015 and 2019 presidential elections on good ground of people’s confidence.  Such a President needs not look back in taking actions on things he knows will be to the delight of the people.

Continuous delay in his submission of Ministerial List to the Senate is beginning to unsettle many of his admirers and supporters even among media practitioners in the country.  This is so much that to calm tension over the delay, the new Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, last week, in his good wisdom, did what some members of mainstream media tried to misconstrue to mean that he was acting as megaphone of the Executive. That was when he announced that Mr. President would transmit his ministerial list before weekend.  That weekend had since gone without a list coming.

The President however issued a statement through which he asked for more time to make up his list and with assurances that he that he knows would be his ministerial appointee. It was a statement that still went a long way to settle the teaming Nigerian supporters who believe that many of his just dissolved cabinet members were foisted on him and who did not perform to the best of expectation.

However, the Senate, as a non-rubberstamp of the Executive, has its own legislative calendar and rules that it operates as apex body in the Nigeria’s National Assembly.  By 26th of this month of July it will proceed on annual vacation.

Recall how the immediate past Bukola Saraki-led Senate Presidency hid under the legislative rules and calendar to sabotage the Federal Government of the same political party to which he belonged.  He was generally believed was doing so to settle scores with President Buhari, who would not be available to compromise on fight against corruption and impunity at all levels including in the Legislature and Judiciary and Saraki was believed to represent everything in connection with that, the President detested.

With the new (Ninth) Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria indicating now that it has only five days more ending next Friday to wait for President Muhammadu Buhari to submit the list of his ministerial appointees before it proceeds on its two-month annual vacation, according to the country’s legislative calendar, there is worry in the camp of pro-government elements how the Saraki’s ugly legislative leadership past will not be justified feeling Saraki will now say, “This is what we were saying about this President but which many Nigerians villified us for and refused to listen to us about”.  That vindication should not be allowed by what is now obvious.

In line with the legislative calendar, the National Assembly is to go on its annual recess on July 26 and resume on September 26.  If it now goes, it means Nigeria will have good four months without a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, which the Permanent Secretaries handed over to and who are acting for the Ministers have no constitutional powers to form. By this, economy that has been taken out of recession in the first four years tenure will dwindle and nobody will want to do business in a country where policy movers are not on seat.

Already, construction contractors are not being active at work in the various construction zones across the country.  Can they be blamed? Definitely no, because, yes the 2019 budget has been passed and signed into law but those Permanent Secretaries cannot sign out appropriated funds required for the ongoing works to continue.  If care is not taken and opposition leverage on this loophole, it may take an administration that for four years lived and operated amidst highpowered enmity having to work harder to move forward.

As member of the nation’s community, we agree with the President that those who call him ‘Baba Go-Slow’ need to provide evidence of how far-reaching those who Go-Fast have been.  Nonetheless, we must be frank with the President that you no longer need to justify slowness but truly be timely in anything you have laid your hands upon having enjoyed the full confidence of majority of the masses of Nigerian people.

This is also because, those who wanted you out of power had sealed their plan before the 2019 election. That Western Conspiracy climaxed into the bringing of Atiku Abubakar to the United States of America (USA) despite his shoddy past as generally believed even the United States. A President that has thus been so much favoured by divine design must prove to the celestial power that he appreciates by being fast and active now because the enemies stop at no time.

Now that the Senate has given you the most respite they can wait for your list, whatever number you have been able to achieve of your ministerial nominees, please take the list to them latest on Tuesday July 23 and let the senators commence their screening on Wednesday July 24 or Thursday July 25 and by Friday July 26 before they adjourn for two months recess, you will have constitutionally recognised cabinet members screened and confirmed by the Senate of the Federal Republic. Remaining number can be forwarded later.

Consultations with traditional rulers

It is on the note of this that we want to however commend the new move by the President instructing his Deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to embark on nationwide consultations with traditional rulers towards finally tackling the insecurity in the country. We, at The DEFENDER, make bold to say, although the move is long overdue but that it is rather late than never. 

The traditional rulers of Nigeria are the closest and most in control of loyalty of the people. The consultation must however not be mere talk but backed with the Executive Will Power asserted to empower them to act effectively in fighting insecurity in their respective domains.

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