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The Secret Lies From The Ministerial Screening  

The recent decision by FIFA to directly pay Nigerian footballers in the ongoing Women’s World Cup tournament their bonuses must be considered a slap on Nigerians and the independence of the country.

However, for many who consider the FIFA decision as an insult, the brag about sovereignty slips into stupidity after watching the charade officially dubbed the ministerial screening of ministers by the Nigerian Senate.

Indeed, some Nigerians after watching the non-event, would even suggest that FIFA and other international agencies with good governance codes should delve more into our national life.

The confirmation hearings have been laced with crookery to the extent that the Senate can now be officially confirmed as an active collaborator in the debauchery of our national life.

One, many of the nominees with dodgy pasts have been shielded from answering issues about themselves.

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Indeed, the Senate officially devalued itself when it came to screening Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the man who put his finger in the eye of the Senate exactly 20 years ago with his claim that two principal officers of the Senate demanded a N54m bribe to clear the opposition to his ministerial nomination by President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003.

On the heels of the bribery scandal,  the Senate as an institution entered into an official war with El-Rufai who dammed the legislative body and turned his back by snubbing several of their resolutions directed at him.

Your correspondent thought that some senators would recall that mark of insolence, but alas they all chose to look the other way. One Senator who had the boldness to bring forth a petition on an allegation bordering on national security was stopped from going on by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

While El-Rufai performed brilliantly in addressing the question about power and showed himself capable of becoming energy or power minister, the fact that he was stopped from responding to the issue of national security was a disservice to him and all Nigerians. 

Now, a question mark has been put on El-Rufai concerning national security. If tomorrow someone has intelligence on national security, such an individual may shy away from presenting it in the presence of El-Rufai given the unverified petition levelled against him.

While Mallam held his own, there is no doubt that many others who would have melted were covered up by Senator Akpabio from addressing the issues about their persons and service to the fatherland.

There were a few others like Senator Abubakar Kyari whose intellect I was told was masked by the infamous bow-and-go tradition.

It is remarkable, that Senator Opeyemi Bamidele who many young Nigerians had in the recent past admired for his doggedness and forthrightness has as Senate Leader championed the violation of the sacred duty of the Senate in screening out perfidious nominees who have issues to answer.

Indeed, the senators appear to forget that the Senate is indeed, not just a lawmaking body, but also a quasi-judicial body that sits as a court in trying officials of the executive.

Indeed, whereas ordinary citizens are tried by the normal courts, the Constitution has made it so that the Senate is the ultimate body for trying executive office holders. That is why if the Senate or a House of Assembly as in the state follows the impeachment process, it can without recourse to the courts remove a president or a governor.

It is sickening that the 10th Senate has brought the institution to an unbelievable low going to the extent of lying that the repugnant bow-and-go tradition is a global phenomenon. Which is indeed a big LIE. It is a particularly Nigerian practice that has helped to smear the leadership recruitment process for public office.

Many will remember that for five hours on January 14, 2009, Senator Hilary Clinton even as an incumbent United States senator was grilled by her colleagues following her nomination as Secretary of State by President-Elect, Barack Obama. 

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