In a dramatic turn of events at the Senate, the ministerial nomination of Abbas Balarabe from Kaduna State was confirmed on Wednesday. Balarabe, who was nominated by President Bola Tinubu to replace ex-Kaduna governor Nasir El-Rufai, faced a shocking moment during his screening. Just moments after introducing himself and sharing his experiences, Balarabe fainted on the podium, leaving the Senate in pandemonium.
Senator Sunday Katung, a supporter of Balarabe’s nomination, was speaking when the nominee suddenly collapsed. Senate President Godswill Akpabio immediately called for assistance and instructed journalists to stop filming. Balarabe was quickly taken to the National Assembly clinic, where doctors provided first aid to revive him.
After a 45-minute break, the Senate resumed and proceeded to screen the remaining nominees, Dr. Jamila Ibrahim from Kwara State and Ayodele Olawande from Ondo State. All three nominees were eventually confirmed, bringing the President’s total ministerial appointees to 48.
Responding to concerns about Balarabe’s health, Senate spokesperson Yemi Adaramodu explained that the nominee had passed all necessary checks and had been stabilized. Despite Balarabe’s willingness to continue, the Senate advised him to seek further medical attention and rest. Adaramodu emphasized that the Senate had thoroughly reviewed his impressive resume and considered his well-being a priority.
Tragically, on the same day, a journalist from the Tribune Newspaper, Tijani Adeyemi, suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while aboard a National Assembly shuttle bus. Adeyemi had boarded the bus at the Mopol Gate and was discovered lifeless at the checkpoint. Despite attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the clinic of the Secretary General of the Federation. Adeyemi’s body was laid to rest at the Gudu Cemetery in accordance with Islamic rites.
The Senate session was marked by both joy and sorrow, with the confirmation of ministerial nominees overshadowed by the shocking incidents that unfolded.