Ministerial Screening: After Keyamo’s Saga, Akpabio Storms Aso Rock

Fawaz Adebisi


President Bola Tinubu is currently engaged in a meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, with Senate President, Godswill Akpabio. 

This interaction comes on the heels of a deliberation held within the Senate, addressing concerns raised pertaining to the ministerial nomination of Festus Keyamo from Delta State.

Subsequent to the aforementioned closed-door Senate session, which was convened to discuss Festus Keyamo’s candidacy, Senator Darlington Nwokocha representing Abia Central Senatorial District, proposed a motion to temporarily suspend Keyamo’s screening.

This motion received support from Enyinnaya Abaribe, the legislator representing Abia-South Senatorial District.

In response to the motion, Senate President Akpabio conducted a voice vote, revealing a division among the legislators.

In alignment with the directive articulated by Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele, the Senate transitioned into a private session, aimed at resolving the matter.

Nwokocha’s assertions accused Festus Keyamo of displaying disregard for the 9th National Assembly and levying accusations of corruption against the previous Assembly.

It is noteworthy that Festus Keyamo had previously served as the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity during the tenure of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

The ongoing screening process within the Senate, pertaining to the last remaining ministerial nominee, experienced a tumultuous turn of events.

Festus Keyamo, the former Minister of State for Labour, was in the process of responding to inquiries when the session devolved into disorder.

A Senator raised a procedural concern related to Keyamo’s nomination, highlighting a previous instance where Keyamo had declined an invitation from the House of Representatives during his tenure as Minister.

This procedural contention led to a chaotic exchange within the Senate chamber, which persisted for over ten minutes.

In an effort to restore order, Senate President Godswill Akpabio intervened, emphasizing the protocol that mandates silence when the Senate President is addressing the assembly.

Sensing the urgency, Akpabio entrusted Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele to guide the Senate through the resolution of the situation.

Senator Bamidele subsequently proposed two motions: firstly, to extend the Senate’s sitting time beyond 2 pm, and secondly, to transition into an executive or private session.

Both motions received approval, resulting in the postponement of Keyamo’s screening.

Akpabio therefore conveyed that the Senate’s decision to convene a private session was intended to address a matter of national significance, as the Senate subsequently entered into a closed-door session for further deliberations.

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