Senate Confirms Three Ministerial Nominations, Including Replacement for Nasir El-Rufai

Senate Confirmation of Ministerial Nominees

On Wednesday, the Nigerian Senate confirmed the ministerial nomination of Abbas Balarabe from Kaduna State.

President Bola Tinubu nominated him to replace the former Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai, whose initial nomination was rejected by the Senate.

Additionally, the Senate approved the ministerial nominations of Ayodele Olawande from Ondo State and Dr. Jamila Ibrahim from Kwara State.

Balarabe’s Health Incident During Screening

During the ministerial screening session, Abbas Balarabe passed out on the podium shortly after introducing himself to the Senate.

This incident occurred after Dr. Jamila Ibrahim, the first nominee to be screened, had already taken the stage. The sudden health scare led to a chaotic scene in the Senate chamber.

Efforts to Revive Balarabe

Senator Sunday Katung, representing Kaduna South, was standing and supporting Balarabe’s nomination when the nominee collapsed.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio called for immediate assistance, shouting, “Give him (Balarabe) sugar and water!” Akpabio also ordered the cessation of filming and reporting by cameramen and journalists present.

Medical personnel entered the chamber to attend to Balarabe, causing further confusion. Despite his desire to continue the session, the Senate insisted that he leave for medical attention.

Resumption of Senate Proceedings

After approximately a 45-minute break, the Senate reconvened to interview Ayodele Olawande, the third nominee.

Ultimately, the Senate approved all three nominees, bringing the total number of ministers appointed by the President to 48.

Explanation by Senate Spokesperson

Yemi Adaramodu, the spokesperson for the Senate, clarified that Abbas Balarabe’s collapse was due to fatigue.

He assured that the nominee had been stabilized and was in good health. Despite Balarabe’s willingness to continue the screening, the Senate decided that he should prioritize his health.

Adaramodu emphasized that the Senate had thoroughly reviewed Balarabe’s qualifications and conducted the necessary security checks, leading to his approval.

Tragic Incident Involving Senate Correspondent

On the same day, a tragedy occurred when Tijani Adeyemi, a Senate correspondent for the Tribune Newspaper, suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away inside one of the National Assembly shuttle buses.

Despite efforts to revive him at the Federation’s Secretary General’s clinic, he was pronounced dead. Adeyemi was subsequently buried in accordance with Islamic customs at the Gudu Cemetery.

The Senate expressed condolences for the loss of the Tribune reporter.

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