Anxiety and suspense that trailed the transmission of the ministerial list from the Presidency to the Senate may not be over yet as Nigerians may have to wait til Tuesday next week to know the ministerial nominees.
Against widespread expectations, President Muhammadu Buhari failed to submit the much-anticipated ministerial list to the senate until after lawmakers ended Tuesday’s plenary session.
But Senate President Bukola Saraki announced this evening on his Facebook page that he eventually received the ministerial list from the Presidency at about 5PM Wednesday.
“About an hour ago, I received the list of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees from the Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Abba Kyari, and the Special Adviser to Mr. President on National Assembly (Senate) Sen. Ita Enang,” Mr. Saraki posted on Twitter at 6:06PM on Wednesday.
PREMIUM TIMES however gathered that the ministerial nominees may not be officially known to Nigerians until Tuesday next week owing to the timing of the transmission of the list and the established tradition guiding the announcement of the nominees.
The tradition has been that upon receipt of the correspondence from the Presidency, the senate president would read the content of the letter on the floor, after which a motion for screening and confirmation of nominees would be moved by the Senate Leader.
The names of the ministerial nominees would have been read Wednesday had the presidency conveyed it to the leadership of the Senate at the appropriate time, a senator said.
PREMIUM TIMES found that in anticipation of the list, the senate president, Bukola Saraki, had to stay beyond office hours to receive the correspondence from the presidency.
A principal officer at the Senate told PREMIUM TIMES the Senate President can only read the names on the next legislative date, which is Tuesday.
“This means that all of us will only have the privilege of knowing the ministerial nominees presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday next week,” a senator said.
While explaining the reason the list may not officially made public until Tuesday, he said the Senate does not sit on Mondays, Fridays and at weekends.
“If tomorrow, Thursday, were not public holiday, the list would have been announced before the Senate,” he said. “You know the federal government has announced 1st October to be a public holiday in order to mark our independence anniversary.”
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday evening, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the presidency would not make the list public.
He explained that the responsibility of the Presidency is to convey the list to the Senate, while the Senate has the responsibility of announcing the nominees during plenary.