THE SUN —-As Senate resumes screening of more ministerial nominees today and sets for the confirmation of those earlier screened, fresh tension is building in the upper legislative chamber over the fate of former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi .
This came as the Presidency opened up yesterday on Amaechi’s travails. It said his screening in the Senate last week was in order.
However, All Progressives Congress (APC) senators and their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterparts are spoiling for war over whether Amaechi should be confirmed or disqualified.
While the PDP caucus is reaching out to all its members to resist every move to confirm the former Rivers State governor, the APC caucus is stepping up mobilisation to ensure that he is confirmed .
Last week, PDP senators resolved not to participate in the screening of Amaechi after they failed to convince the senate leadership to stay action on his screening pending a debate of the report of the Ethics and Public Petitions Committee which investigated petitions against Amaechi and some other nominees. Although Amaechi’s screening went ahead, a senator, who pleaded anonymity told Daily Sun that the PDP caucus was warming up for a big fight to ensure that he is not confirmed.
He disclosed that the PDP caucus in the chamber was meeting regularly to perfect strategies on how to stop the confirmation of the former Rivers state governor.
On the APC side, the Senator also revealed that the caucus is united on ensuring that it uses its numerical advantage to guarantee Amaechi’s confirmation.
Only few days ago, Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume boasted that APC would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that Amaechi is confirmed .
Meanwhile, addressing Senate correspondents in Abuja yesterday, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, hailed Senators, described their action as worthy of emulation.
He expressed optimism that the remaining nominees would be screened and confirmed this week when Senate reconvenes. He, however, kept mum on what to expect from the Red Chamber when Amaechi faces confirmation today.
Meanwhile, some ministers-designate who were screened last week, including Amaechi, are expected to be confirmed by the Senate today. Although the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate has remained silent, observers believe there might be some exchange of friendly fires over Amaechi’s confirmation.
With the possible conclusion of the ministerial confirmation hearing this week, there are strong indications that the Senate President Bukola Saraki may likely release the Standing Committees.
Although some aides to the Senate president who spoke to Daily Sun off records did not give any time-frame within which the committees will be unveiled, a source in the same office told our correspondent the list was ready.
“The selection committee finished it’s work before the screening exercise began. In fact, the announcement was delayed because the Senate president wanted to finish with the screening first before announcing the names,” the source revealed.