Senators tackle Lawan over delay in committee composition

Some senators who worked for the emergence of Senator Ahmad Lawan as President of the Senate are already mounting pressures on the red chamber’s leadership to announce the composition of the standing committees before their annual recess starting this week.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that most Lawan’s loyalists wanted the selection committee, comprising principal officers, to announce the panels before Thursday this week.

It was gathered that some of them promised one ‘juicy’ committee or the other, had started suspecting that the leadership might consider merit as against rewarding loyalists.

One of the ranking senators who was part of Lawan’s campaign team, told our correspondent on condition of anonymity that they were no longer comfortable with the delay in announcing the committees composition.

He said, “We want the Senate President to announce the committees’ composition latest by Thursday so that we can use the period of the recess to organise ourselves.

“Apart from that, the leadership of the various committees would be able to treat any petition against the choice of any ministerial nominee.”

Further investigations by our correspondent revealed that ranking members of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were also said to be lobbying the presiding and principal officers to make them head plum panels.

Another ranking senator, who is a member of the PDP, told our correspondent that there was an intense pressure by his colleagues to head juicy committees.

He said, “I am sure that the selection committee will do the right thing but it is better for them to announce the composition before embarking on recess.

“The essence of announcing the committees is to prevent unethical lobbying that could involve exchange of money during the recess.”

However, the hopes of those expecting the announcement of the panels’ composition might have been dashed by the leadership as the list may not be unveiled until September

The Chairman, Senate Ad hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, told our correspondent on Friday that the Senate, like the House of Representatives, would announce the committees’ membership after the two-month recess.

Adeyeye said the selection committee would use the period of the recess to carry out a painstaking and meticulous work on the list.

He said, “The position of the Senate is the same thing with that of the House of Representatives because the recess will give the leadership the opportunity to really have a painstaking look at the whole issue of committees.”

“They will look at the background of all the senators and their desire to serve in particular places.

“The leadership will therefore decide on where it thinks individual members can best perform.

“So, that period that they are not busy with plenary work will give them an opportunity to really face the issue of committees.

“There is really no need to rush things now because the committees can’t do anything during the recess.”

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