From Fred Itua, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, nominated seven ministers to replace those who resigned recently to pursue their respective political aspirations.
The new ministerial-nominees are Henry Ikechukwu – Abia State, Umana Umana – Akwa-Ibom State, Ekuma Joseph – Ebonyi state and Goodluck Obia – Imo State.
Others are Umar Yakub – Kano state, Ademola Adegorioye – Ondo State and Odo Udi – Rivers State.
The president made the announcement through a letter he wrote to the Senate, seeking confirmation of the nominated ministers.
His letter was read out by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary.
Some ministers who had resigned are Rotimi Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio, Ogbonnaya Onu and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba. The status of Chris Ngige, Pauline Tallen and Timipre Sylva, who initially indicated interest to contest for elective positions, but chickened out, are unknown.
Others are Uche Ogar who contested and won the fractional Abia State governorship primary and Tayo Alasoadura who contested and lost the APC senatorial primary.
They had resigned in accordance with the provisions of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act which states that “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
Although the appeal court had declared the section unconstitutional, the case was moved to the Supreme court for a final decision.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the red chamber, has appointed Phillip Aduda (FCT) and Chukwuka Utazi (Enugu North) as the new Minority Leader and Minority Whip respectively.
Their names were announced on the floor by Lawan.
Also at plenary on Tuesday, three APC senators official defected to the PDP
They are, Isa Kaita (Katsina North); Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South) and Francis Alimikhena (Edo North)
They cited internal crises within the local chapters of their parties as reasons for their actions, in their separate letters read by the Senate President.