Senator Oluremi Tinubu, on Thursday, denied claims that her appointment as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment was an act of favor or a movement towards reconciliation in the senate.
Tinubu made the denial during an interview with The Nation wherein she noted that she was humbled by the support shown to her by women during her face-off with Senator Dino Melaye.
She said, “I have been overwhelmed. To me, I want to really appreciate the Nigerian women for rising up to the occasion. When you say women, I am part of them. I am a woman – to start with. And this is a terrain that is quite familiar to me. I have worked with them in many capacities even when my husband was the governor of Lagos State.
“Throughout the course of this incident, I have been deeply comforted and encouraged by the support of women from all parts of the country and all walks of life.”
On her appointment as the Chairman of the committee on environment, Tinubu, who formerly chaired the Senate Committee on Women Affairs, pointed out that she has been the Acting Chairman of the committee for some months.
Tinubu said, “No, no. It is not a favour. I was quite comfortable with being the chairman of the Committee on Women Affairs because that is my territory and my terrain.
“It is not new. I have been Acting Chairman of that committee for many months back since the issue of re-run started in Rivers State.
“Along the line, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Sen. Olaka, is PDP from Rivers State, went for rerun. You know what has been going on with the politics in Rivers State.
“But like this evening (Thursday) when we were going, it was like something shocking. I was thinking that the election of Rivers State is only just a few days away, I would have thought we would have waited and see what happens because I was just still acting as the chairman of the Committee on Environment.
“As it is now, the Committee on Women Affairs has been reassigned to someone else. Nobody has the opportunity to really say much to it.
“Being the chairman of the Committee on Environment is not something that is new, I have been acting all along for many months back. I was able to do public hearing and a lot of assignments that are required of the chairman to do.”
Speaking on her meeting with Senate President Bukola Saraki, Tinubu said, “It wasn’t four hours but the press will say whatever they want to say. I don’t think I can sit with somebody for four hours. That is too cumbersome. I had a private meeting with him for less than an hour. And I had the opportunity to tell him why I didn’t shake his hand after my inauguration as a Senator. I told him the reason. I said you deprived us from having swearing in ceremony. I said that was why I was angry. I said I was angry and that was it. And I have talked to him afterwards. That was the first time I will sit with him in a meeting. I have never had the opportunity.
“No, Dino wasn’t part of the meeting. Even when the Senate President said I should see him after the plenary, I went to his office, I met Dino Melaye and another person. I said, ‘what do you want me to do? He said I should give him few minutes. So I sat in his waiting room and after 15 minutes I went in to see him for about 30 to 35 minutes.”