Ministerial screening: Senators protest as “bow and go” policy dominates The Senate on Thursday, July 25 accorded the controversial “bow and go” privilege to ten ministerial nominees; allowing only four to give account of themselves.
However, some lawmakers were uncomfortable with the policy; stating that it does not give them the opportunity to ask nominees questions – Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe reminded his colleagues that what they were doing was confirmation hearing and not endorsement hearing” – In his ruling, Senate President Ahmad Lawan aforementioned there was no ought to prolong the talk on the policy.
The Nigerian Senate on Thursday, July 25 accorded the controversial “bow and go” privilege to ten ministerial nominees, while only four gave account of themselves. Those who received the bow and go privilege were Senator Tayo Alasoadura, Abubakar Aliyu, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Timipre Martin Sylva, Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, Otumba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo and Mohammed Musa Bello,
privilege was also accorded to Senator Chris Nwabueze Ngige, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Sa’adiya Umar Farouk. On the other hand, Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), Sunday Akin Dare, Mohammed Abdullahi and Ambassador Zubairu Dada were grilled by the upper legislative chamber.
The Senate had adopted the controversial policy on Wednesday, July 24 as a privilege to former senators, members of the House of Representatives and members of the state Houses of Assembly. However, some lawmakers were uncomfortable with the policy; stating that it does not give them the opportunity to ask nominees questions.
Senator Bamidele Opeyemi, before the start of the session, had stated that there was need for the upper chamber to take steps to clarify the policy of ‘bow and go’ to Nigerians. According to the Ekiti lawmaker, the media was being given the impression that every nominee that appeared for screening is asked to take a bow and go; hence, the need for clarification.
At a stage during the screening, the Senate minority leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, was also forced to question the policy, and urged his colleagues to go by the dictates of the constitution. The lawmaker reminded the Senate that what they were doing was confirmation hearing and not endorsement hearing”, as he read the constitutional provision that empowered the upper chamber to screen ministerial nominees before appointment.
On his own part, Senator Bashir Ajibola, insisted that there was nothing wrong with the policy. In his ruling, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said there was no need to prolong the debate on the policy, and that the red chamber already had a standard which should be followed.