Senators intensify lobby for juicy committees

With the apparent resolution of the contentious positions of Senate principal officers, the battle appears to have shifted to lobbying for juicy committees.It was also learnt on Sunday the list of members of Senate Selection Committee, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs and the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, are ready.

The three committees, including Senate Committee on Public Accounts, which is normally chaired by the opposition, are statutory committees.The implication of the list of members of the committees being ready is that Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, is likely to announce names of the members of the panel on Tuesday at the resumption of plenary.The composition of committees by the Selection Committee headed by Senate President, observers say, is a major banana peel, Lawan should properly navigate.

Findings showed that as lobby for committees exacerbate in the Upper Chamber, “no senator wants to be left out.”The class ‘A’ committees including Senates Services, Appropriation, Finance, Petroleum (down and upstream), Customs, NDDC, Maritime, Police Affairs, Communications, Power and Steel Development and few others, are said to be hotly chased by senators.

The lawmakers are said to be leveraging on their link and relationship with some “highly placed persons” in the Senate to make case for themselves.

It is gathered that the struggle for committee positions would get fiercer in the upper chamber after the possible release of names of principal officers on Tuesday.

All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators are said to be banking on their majority status in the Senate to chair most of the committees.

Some APC Senators who played prominent roles in the emergence of Lawan as Senate President, are expected to be “compensated” with chairmanship or membership of class ‘A’ committees.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senators on the other hand, are said to have been “rallying to the Abuja home of the anointed minority leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, to stand in for them.

A North Central Senator, who spoke to our reporter on condition of anonymity, did not see anything wrong in lobbying for committees.

He said: “Lobbying is the game of politicians. There is nothing wrong with lobbying because that is the way you get things done in parliament.

“It is only that in this clime, people read a lot of negative meanings into lobbying. You lobby to serve in a committee you feel your legislative functions can be better served not necessarily for monetary gains.”

He also dismissed the idea of juicy committees insisting that “all committees are equal.”

Baring last- minute changes, a former Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Admau will be announced Senate Leader tomorrow while the Ondo North Senator Ajayi Borrifice, will be declared Deputy Senate leader.

A former Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, (Abia north) may also be pronounced Senate Chief Whip while Yahaya Abdullahi (North west) may emerge Senate Deputy Chief Whip.

(The Nation)