The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, may announce the standing committees of the upper chamber this week following pressure from his colleagues.
Investigations by SUNDAY PUNCH revealed that the leaders of the Senate decided to make the announcement before members would proceed on their two-month annual recess to enable them to resolve any issues that might arise from the list during the break.
It was also learnt that the leaders of the House of Representatives decided to rescind their decision to postpone the constitution of the lower chamber’s committees till September after discovering that it was better to resolve any protests that might arise as a result of the exercise during their recess.
A Senator from the South-West told our correspondent on condition of anonymity on Saturday that Lawan would unveil the committees on Tuesday, which is the last day of sitting before their annual recess.
The lawmaker, who is one of Lawan’s loyalists, said, “I am sure the Senate President would also want to enjoy his holiday instead of contending with pressure from those who want to head one committee or another.
“There are some committees that many of those who worked for Lawan’s emergence are eyeing, but it seems the Senate leadership is contending with a clash between those who participated actively during the campaign and Lawan’s old friends.”
The source added, “Some committees in the House of Representatives are already working because it is not everybody that would travel abroad during the recess. We could achieve a lot during the holiday and hit the ground running on resumption.”
However, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, told our correspondent on Friday that the Senate President had been very busy since his election, hence the delay in constituting the committees.
Adeyeye said, “We are not worried over the delay in constituting the committees. We are going on recess and we are sure that by the time we return, the committees would be in place.
“If the Senate leadership constitutes the committees right now, what will they be doing when we will be on recess for two months?”
He said it was possible for Lawan to announce the committees before they proceeded on recess.
The legislator said, “We are still sitting. The House of Representatives has gone on recess. We still have till next (this) week and ample time for the President of the Senate to roll out the committees. It is not a matter to worry about.
“Ours is a chamber with deep reasoning, compartment of elder statesmen. We will take whatever decision taken by the leadership on the issue of committees with maturity.”
SUNDAY PUNCH reported last week that some senators who worked for Lawan’s victory had been pressuring him to announce the standing committees before their annual recess.
A ranking senator, who was part of the Lawan’s campaign team, told our correspondent on condition of anonymity last week that they were no longer comfortable with the delay in announcing the committees.
He had said, “We want the Senate President to announce the committees latest Thursday so that we can use the period of the recess to organise ourselves.
“Apart from that, the leaders of the committees will be able to treat any petition against the choice of any ministerial nominee.”
Further investigations by our correspondent had also revealed that ranking members of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party were said to be lobbying the presiding and principal officers to make them head some favourite committees.
Another ranking senator, who is a member of the PDP had told our correspondent off the record that there was pressure on Lawan to allow them head attractive committees.”