There was drama in Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber today as the Senate President, David Mark, carefully orchestrated the confirmation of Musiliu Obanikoro as Nigeria’s minister of state for defence. The nominee had given up the same position to run in the party primaries for governor of Lagos State
Mr. Obanikoro’s confirmation had previously been held up on three occasions as up to 40 Senators rejected his candidacy over his involvement in the rigging of last year’s gubernatorial poll in Ekiti.
A rigging meeting on the eve of the election featured some of the principal characters in the plot, including Obanikoro, and was secretly taped by an army captain and published by SaharaReporters.
Today, a ruthless Mr. Mark, apparently working on a plan to railroad the confirmation process, mobilized People Democratic Party Senators to the chambers of the Senate for Mr. Obanikoro’s confirmation. Knowing that many of his colleagues, especially members of the All Progressives Congress, wanted to question the nominee, Mark merely asked the assembled Senators to vote on whether they wanted Mr. Obanikoro to “bow and go,” a strategy used as an informal blessing when Senators do not wish to question the president’s nominees.
The APC Senators staged a walkout in response, and addressed the media denouncing Mr. Obanikoro’s confirmation. They wanted it on record that they objected to Obanikoro’s confirmation because he is a known election-rigger in view of his role in the unfolding Ekiti State governorship story.
“The hilarious thing is that these most of these Senators appear to have the same shelf life as the man they just fraudulently confirmed for a filthy Ministerial chair,” a political analyst said in response. “None of them may have a job after May 29, but from now on, the Senators carry on their heads the guilt and stench of Obanikoro.”
Asked what he meant, he said, “Can’t you see? Some people will now be known as ‘Obanikoro Senator.’”