Orji Kalu, chief whip of the senate, on Tuesday, begged senators to allow Saleh Mohammed, a ministerial nominee from Taraba state, take a bow and leave because of his inability to speak eloquently.
During the ministerial screening, Saleh briefly reeled out his academic qualifications, work experience, political journey, and asked the senate to allow him end his introduction with the little he had said.
As soon as the nominee made his request, Kalu indicated interest in speaking. After Senate President Ahmad Lawan gave him the opportunity to speak, the Abia senator attributed the nominee’s inability to speak extensively to stage fright.
He described Saleh as a loyal supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that while he was still a member of the major opposition party, the Taraba nominee used to travel down to meet him in Abia to sell the candidacy of the president.
“I will like to urge my colleagues to see that Senator Mohammed is not a good orator but he is a proper engineer; he is a good worker,” Kalu said.
“I am just trying to say, you might see him having stage fright or so. He is not a good speaker. Saleh is not somebody you put questions to and allow him to showcase skills of talking. This guy is a proper engineer.
“He has been a very good person, even when I was in PDP, he used to preach to me about President Buhari. He has been a very good supporter of President Buhari.
“He used to take transport from Taraba state to come and meet me in Abia to sell the candidacy of Buhari to me. He is somebody we cannot waste his time.
“He is somebody I will like to urge my colleagues to please to allow the ministerial nominee from Taraba to take a bow and go.”
Also pleading on Saleh’s behalf, Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy senate president, said he believes the nominee will add value to Buhari’s cabinet as a minister.
“I rise to align myself in so many ways with the chief whip of the senate. Mr President, even the Bible realise that a labourer his entitled to his wages,” he said.
“I have known Engineer Saleh for so many years. This is one very loyal supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and that support did not begin today. I had the opportunity yesterday while chatting with some people that the list of candidates forwarded to the senate …you can actually describe it as the cabinet of true believers.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is entitled to work with the people of his choice, elections we are told have consequences. He has chosen to appoint engineer Saleh as a minister. As I said, this may not be his best moment, we have interacted so many times, I know engineer Saleh will add value.
“We have been on this nomination for some many days, people are already tired, are we not tired? So, therefore, I am going to appeal that Engineer Saleh may be subject to people from his own state to take a bow and leave.”
Saleh eventually bowed and left.