The Senate President in what seemed to Nigerians as breaking of protocols to accommodate former colleagues and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state by insisting that they take a bow and go is still eliciting reactions,
Ahmed Lawan had during the ministerial screening asked the immediate past Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, not to answer any questions but “take a bow”.
Lawan said Amaechi, being a former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, was a lawmaker and thus should be protected from questioning.
Incidentally, Amaechi was grilled by the 8th Senate led by Senator Bukola Saraki.
The Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, however, said senators from Rivers State wanted to ask questions.
Lawan quickly rejected the move to question Amaechi.
The Senate President, who has been accused of being President Muhammadu Buhari’s stooge, was, however, in for a shock when Gombe-Central lawmaker, Senator Danjuma Goje, noted that the Senate rules do not extend the “take a bow” privilege to state lawmakers.
Goje, who is also a former House of Assembly member, said he wasn’t shown a similar gesture when he was nominated a minister as he was fully grilled by the Senate.
In his response, the Senate President said even though the Senate rules do not “apply to state lawmakers”, Amaechi should be extended the courtesy.
Senate President Ahmed Lawan says all seven former senators, who have been nominated for ministerial appointment will not be questioned but allowed to “take a bow”.
Lawan also said The former senators include Godswill Akpabio, Gbemisola Saraki, Hadi Sirika, George Akume, Olorunnimbe Mamora, Chris Ngige and Tayo Alasoadura.
A serving House of Representatives member, Emeka Nwajuiba, also falls into the category of those that will be allowed to “take a bow”.
The Senate President said the move was part of the longstanding tradition of the Senate that all former lawmakers nominated for appointments are given automatic endorsement.
Lawan, who has been accused of being a lackey of President Muhammadu Buhari, however, warned that the National Assembly would not be subservient to the executive arm of government and advised the incoming ministers to always make themselves available when needed.
Akpabio and Akume were asked to “take a bow” and leave in when they appeared for screening.
Attempts by Akwa Ibom North-East lawmaker, Senator Albert Bassey, to make a comment on Akpabio’s nomination were rejected by the Senate President.