By Yemi Adebowale
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday made a volte-face from an earlier plan to read out the list of his ministerial nominees on his October 1st independence day broadcast following intense pressure over fears of a possible backlash with Nigeria’s National Assembly, BREAKING TIMES can report.
The plan which was exposed by BREAKING TIMES on Wednesday was immediately put on hold resulting in the hurried submission of President Buhari’s ministerial list to the Senate President on Wednesday, after the news broke hours after the Nigerian Senate had concluded its plenary where the list was expected to have arrived earlier and then made public on the floor of the Senate.
Informed presidential sources on the matter who spoke to BREAKING TIMES on condition of anonymity on Thursday disclosed that the initial plan by President Buhari to read out his list of ministerial nominees during his October 1st Independence Day broadcast was hurriedly put on hold owing to intense pressure from his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party as well as indications that the Senate could commence impeachment proceedings against the President, had he proceeded to read the list during his TV broadcast.
“The plan was to unveil the list on October 1st and that was why the list was delayed and kept from the Senate up till the time Senate concluded plenary on Wednesday. It was almost at the close of day before the list was hurriedly sent to the Senate President. The list had actually been ready before the President traveled to New York for the United Nations General Assembly”, one of the sources disclosed.
“The plan to read the ministerial nominees list on TV was dead on arrival. There was no way that would have happened although the President wanted to go that route. People close to him advised him to kill the idea and it took a lot of pressure to dissuade him from doing that including pressure from the party and considerations of the legal implications”, another source told BREAKING TIMES on Thursday.
Buhari’s reported plan to read out his list of ministerial nominees on his October 1st TV broadcast is not only unconstitutional but contravenes the democratic principles of separation of powers, rule of law as well as checks and balances.
Following Buhari’s promise to unveil his ministerial list at the end of September 2015, a list was submitted through Senator Ita Enang, his special adviser on National Assembly Matters to Senate President Saraki on Tuesday. But the document received by Saraki turned out to be a list of older appointments made by President Buhari.
The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday September 30, 2015 concluded plenary without President Buhari’s ministerial list.
An hour after news broke from this newspaper, exposing the plan to sideline the Nigerian Senate to air the ministerial nominees list on TV, the list was hurriedly submitted to the Senate President.