By Nuel Suji, Abuja – The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday announced the list of committee chairmen and vice chairmen for the 65 standing and special committees of the Senate.
The majority party, All Progressives Congress (APC) got 41 chairmanship positions while the remaining 24 positions to senators of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The list reveals that APC Senators including those opposed to Saraki’s Senate Presidency clinched chairmanship positions of some of the choice committees.
Saraki’s staunch supporters, Danjuma Goje and Kabiru Gaya got Appropriation and Works respectively, while Abdullahi Adamu got Agriculture, George Akume (Army), Tayo Alasoadura (Petroleum Upstream).
Others are, Dino Melaye (FCT), Ahmad Lawan (Defence), Monsurat Sunmonu (Foreign Affairs), Lanre Tejuoso (Health), Barnabas Gemade (Housing), Aliyu Wammako (Basic Education and Secondary), Ahmad Sani Yerima ( Marine Transport).
The PDP senators who made chairmen of juicy committees out of the 24 given to them are Hope Uzodinma (Aviation), Uche Ekwunife (Petroleum Downstream), John Enoh (Finance) , Bassey Albert Akpan (Gas), George Sekibo (Interior) and Sam Egwu (Industry).
Also, Eyinnaya Abaribe returned as chairman (Information and National Orientation), Duro Faseyi (Airforce), Gilbert Nnaji (Communication), James Manager (Power) , Ben Bruce ( Privatisation), Godfrey Utazi ( Anti- Corruption and Financial Crimes), Peter Nwaboshi ( Niger Delta) etc.On zonal basis , the North Central Geo political zone where the Senate President comes from, has the highest number of chairmanship positions of the committees which is 12, while North East and North West , have 11 each.In the South, South west has the highest number of 11 chairmanship positions while both the South- South and South East, have 10 each.
Although the 44 senators across party lines who were not made Chairmen of any of the committees got compensated in one way or the other as Vice Chairmen of the 65 committees.
The senate is composed of 109 senators, 14 of which are principal officers. While only 19 out of 60 APC senators failed to be secure chairmanship position of any committee, 25 out of the 49 PDP senators were left out of the chairmanship positions.
A development that as authoritatively learnt did not go down well with the PDP senators, who however refused to speak to the press over the matter.
Even among the APC senators, information has it that Senators like Oluremi Tinubu given the chairmanship position of Senate Committee on Women Affairs and Ahmad Lawan who is now Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, are not happy with the offer.
While Lawan was seen storming out of the senate chamber immediately Saraki adjourned its sittings to Tuesday next week, Tinubu refused out rightly to speak with journalists over the matter when accosted to do so.
Other APC Senators belonging to the Unity Forum Group and not the pro – Saraki Like Minds group , made Chairmen of committees considered to be less important , are Kabiru Marafa (National Identity and National Population) and Sulaiman Hunkunyi (Vice Chairman Committee on Federal Character).
However the Senate President while announcing the composition of the Committees , admonished the Chairmen and Vice Chairmen that it must not be business as usual as far as oversight functions of the committees are concerned.