Senator Oluremi Tinubu representing Lagos Central in the Senate on Wednesday refused to shake hands with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. Oluremi is the wife of the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress and a former governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu. This happened when Saraki was administering the oath of office and allegiance on the 28 All Progressives Congress’ senators who were absent at the formal inauguration of the Eighth Senate on Tuesday.
The 28 senators, who are mainly members of the Senate Unity Forum, led by Senator Ahmed Lawan, mobilised themselves to the chamber as early as 8.30am on Wednesday, waiting for the Senate President to formally swear them in as senators. The senators, after the votes and proceedings of the previous legislative day were adopted, took turn to take their oaths by reading it out aloud and appending their signatures.
By protocol, each of the newly sworn-in senators were expected, after taking their oaths, to present a copy of their certificates of return to the Senate President and in turn, shake hands with him. The protocol was duly followed by others, except Mrs. Tinubu, who refused to shake hands with Saraki but merely showed him her Certificate of Return and walked out on the Senate President.
The 28 senators were gathered at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari, who was billed to address them when the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, proclaimed the Eighth Senate and subsequently conducted the election on Tuesday.
The election, which had 23 APC senators in attendance, produced Saraki as President of the senate while Senator Ike Ekweremadu was elected as the deputy. Saraki, after the election, had administered the oath of office and allegiance on 75 other senators.