The Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, made an unprecedented move on Wednesday during the ministerial screening as he prevented the President’s media aide, Dele Alake, from reciting the second stanza of the National Anthem.
The tense moment occurred when the Minority leader, Senator Simon Mwadkwom, brought up an old social media post made by Alake, in which he allegedly referred to a particular party as “wild dogs selling blood online.” Senator Mwadkwom sought clarification from the nominee and requested him to recite the second stanza of the National Anthem, stating that as a potential Minister of Information, familiarity with the anthem was essential.
However, Akpabio and the Senate Majority Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, stepped in to shield the nominee from answering any questions. They cited Senate rules and stated that the issue raised was not relevant to the ongoing screening of ministerial nominees.
Bamidele emphasized that the Senate was currently engaged in screening a ministerial nominee and should not be sidetracked by issues related to political campaigns that occurred months ago.
The Senate President echoed similar sentiments, declaring that the campaign period was over, and the focus should be on the nominees’ potential contributions to the nation. He emphasized that their role was to hear what each nominee would bring to the table in terms of expertise and vision, rather than engaging in discussions about past statements or controversies.
In response to the Senate President’s remarks, Akpabio defended the nominees and asserted that their purpose was not to engage in singing or reciting songs but to present their plans and ideas for the country.
The tense exchange during the ministerial screening highlighted the Senate’s determination to focus on the qualifications, visions, and plans of the ministerial nominees. As the screening process continues, the Senate remains steadfast in its commitment to select individuals who will contribute positively to the nation’s progress and development. The episode also serves as a reminder that past statements and controversies may resurface during the nomination process, underscoring the importance of thorough scrutiny and accountability for public office holders.