The one-month adjournment by the senate on Thursday has effectively dashed hopes that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon have a cabinet in place.
After the controversial adoption of Ali Ndume as senate leader, Bukola Saraki, senate president, adjourned plenary till July 21, a development that means even if Buhari’s cabinet list is ready now, the senate will not be sitting to screen the nominees as required by the constitution.
However, Saraki can reconvene the senate at anytime to carry out the screening, but there is yet no communication between Buhari and the senate president since the controversial inauguration of the national assembly on June 9.
“The likelihood of reconvening the senate during the month-long break is there, but Buhari is so irked by Saraki’s leadership that it will take a miracle for him to call Saraki and request that the senate be reconvened to consider his ministerial list,” an APC senator said.
Buhari, sources claimed, had been hoping that his preferred candidate for Saraki’s position, Ahmad Lawan, would eventually merge house leader.
“This would have allowed Buhari to be dealing directly with Lawan rather than Saraki. All matters from presidency to the senate would have been channelled through Lawan, thereby eliminating the awkward situation in which Buhari would be sitting in the same room with Saraki,” a presidential source said.
However, Lawan, who was proposed by the APC as senate leader, was not supported by his fellow senators from the north-east, who wanted the pro-Saraki Ndume instead.
He has now lost his bids for senate presidency and majority leader. This has further damaged hopes that Buhari was about to start interacting with the senate leadership through a proxy.
The ministerial list is not ready nearly one month after Buhari’s inauguration, and the adjournment has given the president enough room to fine-tune his strategies following increasing pressure from the public to name his cabinet.