Frustrating The Screening By Senators Can Be Counter-productive –Enesi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Frustrating The Screening By Senators Can Be Counter-productive –Enesi

Posted: Oct 4, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The President, Centre for Conflict Resolution, Dr.  Peter Enesi, in this interview speaks on the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and its likely effect on the screening of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees at the Senate. He spoke to EJIKEME OMENAZU



What is your impression about the  ongoing trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT)?

Because of the political situation, there is a strong feeling that what is happening to Saraki is from his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). The Nigerian public voted for the senators. After their election, the job of the parties ended. By law, the senators have to vote and choose their leaders. It is no longer a party affair. If the party continues to flaunt its supremacy, that in itself is corruption. He that comes to equity must come with clean hands. If you go  to dig up issues just to remove someone from office, it is sad.

The senators must have free hand to elect their leaders without oparty interference. Assuming that Saraki had no problem with his party and the issue of his assert declaration comes up, it would have been a beautiful case. Now, the whole crisis is taking ugly dimension. Assuming that the Senate President, like the President, the Deputy President, Governors and their Deputies, has immunity, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) could not have had the power to sue Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) now. This crisis is affecting the common man. The fight against corruption must be ongoing and institutionalized. If not, if President Buhari leaves office, corruption will rear its ugly head again. But, it should not be targeted at individuals.

Do you think the ongoing trial will affect the consideration of the President’s ministerial nominees by the Senators?

The senate president has already said that the list is more crucial than his trial. As a patriotic leader, he takes the issues of the nation more important than his personal matter. So, I don’t see the case affecting the handling of the ministerial list by senators. The absence of ministers are already affecting the running of of government. We need them urgently. It is the duty of the senators to clear the ministers not minding the trial of the Senate President.

If they delay the consideration of the list because of Saraki’s trial, it will be counter-productive because the nation is losing much due to lack of ministers to run the government. It is due to the love people have on the president that Nigerians aree keeping queit over the absence of ministers. It has never taken so long before in Nigeria, or in other democratic nation.

What do you think should be the solution to this seeming cold war between the Senate and the Presidency over the trial of Saraki?

I feel that the institutions in place should have integrity inbuilt in them. I am talking about the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. They need cooperation and integrity. Their interface should be with integrity. Involvement of political parties in the running of government after elections is bad. I still see a cabal trying to take control of the government. That should be checked. For the sake of of the smooth running of the government, and the economic situation of the country, we need all hands to be on deck.

The President as the nation’s Chief Executive should extend his hands of fellowship to the Senate president so that the nation will move forward. The war against corruption should have focus. If the law enforcement agencies fail in their responsibility at the appropriate time, we should not be dragged back.