Senate Screens, Approves 3 Additional Ministers

The Senate has successfully vetted approved the nomination of three new ministers for President Bola Tinubu.

Among those whose nominations were confirmed during the Wednesday session are Balarabe Abbas Lawal from Kaduna, Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim from Kwara, and Ayodele Olawande from Ondo.

The approval of these new ministers was established through a voice vote conducted by Senate President Godswill Akpabio following the screening process.

However, an unexpected incident occurred during the screening when Kaduna State’s ministerial nominee, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, nominated by President Bola Tinubu as a replacement for former Governor Nasir El-Rufai, suddenly fainted. This caused a moment of panic among Senators and security personnel, who quickly rushed to provide medical assistance.

Initially, Mr. Lawal seemed fine as he delivered his presentation, but he collapsed on the floor just after concluding his speech, right before he was to answer questions from lawmakers. Balarabe Lawal was the second nominee to be screened.

The Senate then proceeded to a closed-door session while efforts were made to revive the collapsed nominee, who was still inside the Senate chamber at the time. Senator Bio Ibrahim had been screened before this incident.

Balarabe’s collapse coincided with Senator Sunday Marshall Katung from Kaduna South praising his wealth of experience as a former Secretary to the State Government in Kaduna, endorsing his nomination. Senate President Godswill Akpabio reacted quickly, instructing that water and sugar be given to him.

Akpabio promptly ordered journalists and cameramen to leave the Senate chamber, and the live stream of the screening was abruptly halted. An anonymous lawmaker later explained that Balarabe collapsed due to exhaustion, as he was fasting at the time.

He, however said, “The man is okay now, he has been stabilized.”

Approximately one hour after the incident, the Senate recommenced the screening process. Prior to posing questions to the final nominee, Olawande from Ondo, Akpabio mentioned that Balarabe acknowledged his exhaustion, citing that he had been working excessively in the days leading up to the screening.


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