The chairman, Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has declared that the Senate president, David Mark, betrayed the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators when he decided to go ahead with the confirmation of Musiliu Obanikoro as a minister.
Saraki during an interview with newsmen in Ilorin yesterday, the senator claimed that Mark reneged on an earlier agreement he had with other lawmakers on the confirmation of Obanikoro.
According to the former governor of Kwara State, senators had, during an executive session, agreed to defer the issue of Obanikoro to allow concerned senators, particularly in the APC, to reach an amicable solution on the controversies that surrounded the then nominee.
He said APC senators had arrived the chamber last week with that agreement in mind and therefore were disappointed that the Senate president went straight to the confirmation stage for Obanikoro instead of making room for reviewing the opposition against the nomination.
He defended the decision of his colleagues to walk out on the confirmation, saying it was an attempt to protest what was considered as wrong for the sake of posterity.
“Well, I think what happened was unfortunate. I believe that in the Senate, the National Assembly, there are many courts- the court of the law and the court of public opinion and we all represent constituencies.
“I believe in a scenario where the three senators, it has always been the practice, have an objection to the candidate and I believe we are all there because we represent the people. We are not there on our own. We must be concerned with that.
“At the same time, I agree that somebody is innocent until proven guilty. But I believe the right thing the Senate president should have done is, we should have tarried a bit and we should not rush on the issue.
“I remember a week ago, after coming out of the executive session, we agreed then that we will only take the first four nominees and that we would give one week for further consultation and then we would come back and review. The only person we are reviewing is Senator Obanikoro.