Ministerial nominee slumps during screening

Ministerial nominee slumps during screening

The ministerial nominee from Kaduna State, Balarabe Lawal, on Wednesday collapsed while undergoing screening on the floor of the Nigerian Senate.

Mr Lawal’s nomination appeared to have been made to replace a former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, whose nomination was put on hold by the Senate in August.


The nominee slumped around 1:50 p.m. after he introduced himself and highlighted his achievements so far in the private and public sectors.

Mr Lawal is the second ministerial nominee on the list.


After he slumped, senators rushed to the podium to save his life.

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, screamed and asked for water and sugar to save the nominee’s life.

Mr Akpabio directed that the Senate go into a closed-door session immediately.


President Bola Tinubu had on Tuesday written to the Senate asking the upper legislative chamber to screen and confirm Mr Lawal, Jamila Bio Ibrahim from Kwara State and Ayodele Olawande.

Mr Tinubu had in September announced the appointment of Mrs Ibrahim to serve as minister of youth and Mr Olawande to serve as minister of state for youth pending their confirmation by the Senate.

Senate resumes

The Senate resumed sitting at about 2:55 pm after the ministerial nominee from Kaduna was whisked away from the podium of the chamber.


Upon resumption of the sitting, the ministerial nominee from Ondo State, Ayodele Olawande was invited to the Senate chamber for screening.

Mr Lawal was placed at a corner of the chamber where a medical team of the National Assembly administered treatment on him.

The Chairman of Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Yemi Adaramodu, said Mr Lawal slumped during the screening as a result of fatigue.

“The three nominees that came today have been confirmed. Two of them stood throughout but unfortunately one of them when he started before the screening, he did well, he submitted all his resume and he is the current SSG of Kaduna State, he has a very rich resume.


“Unfortunately, due to exhaustion and fatigue, he had a little health hiccup and we had to drop him, we had to bring him down, let him just get himself together, then he was put together.

Mr Adaramodu said when the ministerial nominee was resuscitated, he wanted to continue with the screening but leadership of the Senate prevented him.

“He even wanted to continue but the Senate said look, because of the exhaustion just go and seek further medical attention and then rest.

“We have already gotten your resume, we have already started and we have got what we wanted from you, so there was no reason for carrying us to Newcastle. There was no reason to delay him further.”


Who is Mr Balarabe?

Mr Lawal, 65, was the chairman of the 65-member transition committee that handled the swearing-in of Uba Sani as governor of Kaduna State, on 29 May.

He served as the secretary to the Kaduna State Government under former Governor Nasir El-Rufai and he is currently serving in the position under Governor Uba Sani.

He headed the transition committee of the state in 2015 and also served as the vice-chairman of the committee in 2019.

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