Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
The Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, yesterday withdrew his earlier tweeted response on the newly appointed service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Saraki’s reaction, the appointment of the service chiefs will still be confirmed by the Senate on resumption next week.
The UNION reports that a tweet question had been sent to Saraki, requesting to know when the Senate would reconvene to confirm their appointments.
But the Senate President responded by saying that the “Appointment of service chiefs is an exclusive function of Mr. President. Senate can only approve ministerial, parastatals etc”. Saraki’s response, however, put him in the eye of the storm with attendant barrage of attacks by social media users, who condemned his ignorance of constitutional responsibility of the Senate in that respect.
Many of the online commentators, who attacked him, wondered why, as a senator in the 7th Senate, where such confirmation was first done in January 2014, would display such ignorance. The intensity of the attacks prompted the media office of the Senate President to issue two separate statements to water it down.
The first statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Social Media, Bamikole Omishore, alleged that Saraki’s tweet on the subject matter was not up to date. Another one issued by the Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, said that his tweet was completely misinterpreted.
“This is to clarify the earlier position which was not up to date and does not represent the position of the Senate President on the issue of screening of the newly appointed service chiefs.
The Senate will perform its constitutional duty when it receives communication from the President on the appointments,” Omishore’s statement read. But the second statement, which was signed by the Chief Press Secretary, however, went further to widen the scope of the controversy. It stated that Saraki!’s response was based on two fold of enquiries tweeted to him.