‘You are on loan to executive arm of gov’t’ – Senate President to ex-lawmaker, Goodluck


Senate President, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, has told the former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nnana Opiah that he was on loan to the executive arm of government.

Opiah, also a former lawmaker in the lower legislative Chamber, representing Ohaji/Egbema/Oru West Federal Constituency of Imo State, was nominated to be screened by President Muhammadu Buhari alongside six other citizens

During the screening exercise on Wednesday, the Senate President invoked the doctrine of “bow and go” for former lawmakers, hence, Hon. Opiah was not grilled the way other nominees were subjected to.

He, however, expressed optimism that the ex-lawmaker would bring his wealth of experience to bear and ensure a harmonious working relationship between the executive and the parliament.

Lawan said: “You are released on loan to the other arm of government, having served as a legislator. What we expect from our former colleague is in addition to performing creditably well in their various offices as Ministers. We also expect that they would work hard with the executive arm of government; to work together peacefully and cordially.

“You are supposed to be enhancers in making the relationship in such a way and manner that Nigerians will benefit from such partnership and mutual respect. So, this is a burden you have to carry as a former member of the National Assembly and now likely to be serving as a Honourable Minister.

“Even if people keep disappointing, that doesn’t mean you can’t change the narrative.

“Rt. Hon. Nnana Goodluck Opiah was a member of the National Assembly, who is nominated to be screened and confirmed for appointment as Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by Mr President should feel and should be at home when he enters the Chamber.

“Having said this, I believe the nominee has the opportunity to speak for himself. I just said those few things to alert us so that we have to activate a system of giving concessions or special regard to our former members of the National Assembly when they appear before us for screening as the case may be today.

“Before he takes a bow which is our tradition here, I want to say one or two things. Mr nominee, this Senate has confidence that you are fit and proper for an appointment as a Honourable Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having served as a former member of the National Assembly who is nominated having served meritoriously in the House of Representatives.

“We have no doubt of your capacity; your ability;your competence to serve as a Honourable Minister.

“For this, let me welcome the Honourable nominee and the House leader, Rt Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa and some members of the House of Representatives who are also here to give their support for some of the nominees.

“We have your CV and can speak if you like on anything that is missing in your CV. You can emphasise on anything that is not well presented in your CV.”

Speaking on behalf of three Senators from Imo State, Senator Francis Onyewusi Ezenwa, representing Imo East Senatorial district commended Senators across party lines for accepting Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nnana Opiah.

He described the former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly as a man of integrity who would make the parliamentarians proud, if he get to the executive arm of government.”

Responding, the nominee promised to contribute his best as Minister, while protecting the interest of the parliament as well.

Meanwhile, all nominees who were screened were confirmed.

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