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Controversy trails Senate’s failure to confirm Buhari’s nominee for North-East Development Commission



The 10th Senate Assembly presided by Ahmad Lawan may be deliberately delaying the confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominee, Bashir Bakar, as chairman of the governing board of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC), reliable sources have informed Peoples Gazette.

On May 3, Mr Buhari sent a list of 12 commission nominees to the Senate for confirmation. However, despite the assembly’s approval of other last-minute requests for the president including a humongous N22.7 trillion loan, the nominations for the NEDC governing board continue to be delayed without cause.

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“They want to delay the confirmation until Buhari left (sic) so that they can bring their man-Friday,” according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

With Bola Tinubu’s presidential inauguration scheduled for May 29, it is claimed that the assembly plans to confirm names of its own loyalists to the NEDC governing board, bypassing Mr Buhari’s nominees.

Persons familiar with the matter said North-East governors were “vehemently against” the nominees and were using their powers to frustrate and sabotage their confirmation.

Since Mr Buhari would be leaving office in the next three days, sourced asserted that the North-East wanted their allies on the commission’s governing board, even if it meant disregarding the outgoing president’s directive.

Mr Buhari’s request for his nominees’ confirmation was prompted by the expiration of the tenure of the previous governing board which ended May 7.

“The Senate is invited to note that the tenure of the current governing board of the North East Development Commission ended on 7th May, 2023,” Mr Buhari said in a letter sent to the Senate President on May 3.

“In accordance with the provision of Part 1, section 2(5)(b) of the North East Development Commission Establishment Act, 2017, I am pleased to present for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of twelve (12) nominees as tabulated below, in the Governing Board of the North East Development Commission,” the outgoing president wrote in the letter.

Mr Lawan’s spokesperson, Ola Awoniyi, did not immediately return requests seeking comments on the matter.