There was mild drama on the floor of the Senate, as the Senate Minority Leader Simon Mwadkwom took on Dele Alake, one of the ministerial nominees of President Bola Tinubu at the ongoing ministerial screening.
Mwadkwom, representing Plateau North Senatorial District, during the resumed proceeding of the screening, on Wednesday, alleged that Alake of referred to some members of an opposition party as “wild dogs.”
The senator then asked Alake to confirm if he truly made the statement, asking if he (Alake) was inspired to make the utterance and if he actually said it.
He said, “You’ve talked about social media too. I have read on social media your statement concerning other political parties. I read your statement where you label supporters of a particular presidential candidate as wild dogs. Have you come across that statement, did you say that?”
It took the intervention of the President of the Senate, Godwill Akpabio to bring the situation under control.
The Senate President and the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele raised objections to the question, adding that campaigns were over.
Akpabio called Mwadkwom to order, saying the point of order was sustained.
He said, “Minority leader two things, one day you said you will come and seat here [as senate president] and I will come and seat there [as member] you have forgotten that I sat there before I came here.
“Number two, try and avoid campaign issues, campaigns are over, we are now in governance. That is why once you pass through that door, you are coming into the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“You started well by pointing out that they are not asking questions on behalf of a political party, minority or majority, they are asking questions as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That means your question must be nationalistic and not partisan. So, because of the fact that you are a leader, the chair continues to protect you, so go on,” he said.
But, more drama ensued when the Minority Leader later asked Alake to recite the second stanza of National anthem.
He said, “Somebody that will be the image maker if you are eventually appointed by the President as information minister of the country. We know that out of patriotism, we are supposed to be conversant with our national anthem. Mr. President if you allow me, I will ask the nominee to recite the second stanza of the national anthem.”
But, Bamidele raised another point of order by stating that the question was irrelevant as he quoted a section of the rule book of the house.
He said the Minority Leader chose party politics over the custom of the screening.