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Keyamo’s screening sparks rowdy session in the Senate as Akpabio rushes to villa to see Tinubu

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President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio made an impromptu visit to the Presidential Villa on Monday after a tumultuous session in the Senate involving the screening of ministerial nominee Festus Keyamo.

Akpabio was seen at the Villa at 02:55 pm accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Opeyemi Bamidele. The two lawmakers departed at 03:48 pm without addressing the media.

While the precise purpose of Akpabio’s visit remained undisclosed at press time, it likely bore some relation to the heated altercation that unfolded in the Senate earlier in the day.

A ruckus ensued during the session when Senator Darlington Nwokocha, representing Abia Central Senatorial District, moved to suspend Keyamo’s ministerial screening.

Nwokocha, visibly agitated, accused Keyamo of showing disrespect to the 9th National Assembly and of leveling accusations of corruption against the previous Assembly. Nwokocha pointed out that during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari, Keyamo had been summoned to elucidate a Special Public Works program but had not honored the invitation.

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Another Abia-South Senatorial District colleague, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, swiftly seconded Nwokocha’s motion.

The Senate President subjected the motion to a voice vote, leading to a division among the lawmakers and ensuing chaos within the red chamber. Amidst fervent arguments, Bamidele proposed a closed-door session, a suggestion endorsed by Akpabio.

Keyamo, previously a Minister of State for Labour and Productivity during ex-President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, was the final nominee from President Bola Tinubu’s 48-person ministerial list to undergo Senate scrutiny. Keyamo, hailing from Delta State, appeared before the Senate on Monday afternoon, succeeding another nominee, Mariya Mahmoud, the former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State.

While initially absent from both the first and second ministerial lists released by President Tinubu, Keyamo’s inclusion transpired in a surprising sequence of events. Last Friday, Tinubu replaced ministerial nominee Maryam Shetty from Kano with Keyamo and Mahmood.

Before the tumultuous Senate session, Keyamo expressed gratitude to Tinubu for the ministerial nomination, noting that he had relinquished hope of joining the Federal Executive Council of the new administration. Keyamo’s involvement in the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council during the February 25, 2023 elections further underscored his ties to the new administration.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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