Nigerian Ministerial Nominee Collapses, Journalist Dies In N’Assembly Shuttle

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The Senate, on Wednesday, approved the ministerial nomination of Abbas Balarabe from Kaduna State, whose name was forwarded by President Bola Tinubu in replacement for ex-Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai, whose nomination was rejected by the Senate.

The Senate also confirmed the ministerial nomination of 37-year-old Dr Jamila Ibrahim from Kwara State and 34-year-old Ayodele Olawande from Ondo State.

However, after the screening of Ibrahim, who took the podium first, the session was thrown into pandemonium during the screening of Balarabe, who fainted on the podium shortly after introducing himself to the Senate.

Balarabe had just finished sharing his experiences and track record with the senators when the incident occurred, about 15 minutes into his screening session.

Senator Sunday Katung from Kaduna South Senator was on his feet making submissions in support of Balarabe’s nomination when the nominee suddenly collapsed.

The incident saw the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, shouting, “Give him (Balarabe) sugar and water!”

Akpabio also instructed journalists and cameramen to stop filming and to leave the Senate chamber.

The nominee was then taken to the National Assembly clinic.

There was total confusion in the chamber when doctors rushed in with their first aid equipment, to revive the ministerial nominee who was already put on a seat.

After regaining his strength and composure, the nominee pleaded with the Senate to allow him to continue with the session but he was told to go and attend to his health.

The Senate then resumed after about a 45-minute break to screen the third nominee, Olawande.

The three nominees were subsequently confirmed by the Senate.

The three addition brings the President’s ministerial appointees to 48.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Senate, Yemi Adaramodu, explained that the Senate went on to confirm Balarabe notwithstanding that he fainted because he had passed all the necessary checks.

Adaramodu said, “The nominee has been stabilised and he is fine now. Due to fatigue, he went down during his screening.

“The nominee wanted to continue but the Senate told him to go and seek further medical attention and rest.

“We told him we had his resumé, which is very rich, so we didn’t see the need to belabour him anymore.

“The nominees wanted to continue with the screening but the Senate insisted that he shouldn’t. We told him that truly he wanted to serve Nigeria but he can’t serve Nigerian in death. He needs to be alive to serve.

“We have seen his resumé, we have heard from him and all necessary security checks have been confirmed.”

Adaramodu added that the Senate was also impressed by the performance of the two youthful nominees.

I’m another development, tragedy struck on Wednesday as Senate correspondent of the Tribune Newspaper, Tijani Adeyemi, died of cardiac arrest in one of the National Assembly shuttle buses.

The Tribune reporter had boarded one of the shuttles from the main gate, known as Mopol Gate around, at 10 am and by the time he got to the checkpoint, he was discovered to be lifeless.

Efforts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead when he was rushed to the clinic of the Secretary General of the Federation.

Adeyemi’s body was thereafter kept at the National Assembly’s clinic for evacuation and burial after being pronounced dead at the medical clinic.

His remains were laid to rest at the Gudu Cemetery in line with Islamic rites.