Double Tragedy At NASS, As Journalist Dies, Ministerial Nominee Collapses
Death hovered at the Senate wing of the National Assembly on Wednesday with the loss of a journalist and the collapse of a ministerial nominee from Kaduna State, Balarabe Abbas Lawal during the screening exercise.
Before the screening exercise carried out on the three ministerial nominees forwarded to the Senate for consideration, the correspondent of the Tribune Newspaper in the Senate, Tijani Yinusa Adeyemi, had a cardiac arrest in one of the National Assembly shuttle buses and died.
While Adeyemi’s body was still kept at the National Assembly‘s clinic for evacuation and burial, one of the ministerial nominees, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, from Kaduna state, collapsed after making a presentation of himself and waiting for questions from Senators.
As Balarabe Lawal collapsed and was quickly put back on his feet by sergeants at Arm; commotion enveloped the Senate with shouts and calls for doctors from the Clinic! water! Coke or sugar! , to revive him from the President of the Senate and other Senators like the Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, Elisha Abbo, etc.
In an instant, the doctors at the National Assembly Clinic while still documenting vital information on Adeyemi given by some of his colleagues, rushed to the Senate’s Chamber to revive the ministerial nominee with some equipment like an enabler carried for them by one of the journalists.
It was total confusion in the Chamber when the doctors rushed in with their first aid equipment, to revive the ministerial nominee already put on sit.
Apparently unaware of the presence of journalists who stormed the Chamber with the doctors, Senators made a riot of suggestions on how the nominee could be made stable after being revived.
Specifically, Senator Elisha Abo (APC Jigawa North), who had earlier run out of the Chamber for an emergency solution, returned when he saw the doctors and told them to arrange for an ambulance.
But his suggestion was kicked against by the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Abdullahi Gumel.
While Bamidele and Gumel, kept on asking the doctors whether Balarabe Lawal would be made stable without taking him to the hospital, another doctor from the National Assembly clinic ran into the chamber with another first aid equipment but got an unpleasant welcome from the President of the Senate who shouted at him to get away from his side.
The offense of the medical doctor was that he out of the emergency situation, wanted to pass through the back of Akpabio to where the ailing ministerial nominee was being attended to.
Being a doctor, he refused to be rattled by Akpabio’s order but later followed the front of the Senate President‘s seat when prevailed upon by other Senators.
After regaining his strength and composure, the nominee pleaded with the Senate to allow him to continue with the session but was told to go and attend to his health.
Appointment of Balarabe Abbas Lawal, was, however, confirmed by the Senate along with the two others who appeared before the Senate for the screening.
The two other nominees now Ministers – Designate are Dr Jamila Bio Ibrahim from Kwara State and Mr Ayodele Olawande from Ondo State.
Meanwhile, the remains of Tijani Yinusa Adeyemi was laid to rest at the Gudu Cemetery