Contrary to popular expectation, President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday forwarded the name of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Corps Marshal, Osita Chidoka from Anambra, to the Senate for confirmation as minister.
Jonathan also forwarded the name of Abubakar Olanrewaju from Kwara, a lecturer at the University of Abuja, to the Senate for screening.
There had been pressure on Jonathan to reward former Anambra Governor, Peter Obi, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), ahead of a member of the President’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fill the state’s ministerial slot following the sack of Stella Oduah’s as aviation minister.
Obi’s supporters readily point to the support he has given Jonathan since his emergence as President in 2010 as a factor in his favour.
It is not yet clear why Jonathan left out Obi, but Chidoka is also known to be in the good book o Aso Rock.
The FRSC boss attended the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday where he while presented an update on Nigeria’s status on the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) to the nation’s highest decision making body.
Thursday’s ministerial nominations were contained in a presidential letter read by the Senate President, Sen. David Mark, on the floor of the Senate.
Chidoka and Olanrewaju would fill Anambra and Kwara slot vacated by the immediate past Ministers of Aviation and Sports, Stella Oduah and Bolaji Abdullahi, respectively.
Jonathan also forwarded the names of Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Acting Director-General, National Pension Commission (PENCOM) and Ebenezer Fobi, for confirmation to the Senate as director-general and commissioner South-South zone.
The Pension Reform Act states that the commission shall comprise a part time chairman, director-general, four commissioners and seven part time members.
The Act also provides that the appointment of the chairman, the director-general and other members of the commission, other than ex-officio members, shall be made by the president subject to confirmation by the Senate.
Jonathan said the request was in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act 2004, following the expiration term of the acting director-general of PENCOM and the commissioner representing South-South.
He expressed the hope that the request would receive the usual expeditious consideration and confirmation of the Senate.