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EDITORIAL:MINISTERIAL NOMINEES, CRUCIAL ISSUES, CONCERNS

After about two months of waiting by Nigerians for Mr. President to constitute his new executive council to help pilot the day to day affairs of the nation, he (President Buhari) on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 forwarded 43 names of nominees to the national assembly for screening and consideration as Ministers.

The names of nominees, one person per State as well as one from each of the six geopolitical zones of the country includes in no particular order; Ikechukwu Ogar (Abia), Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa),  Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Chris Ngige (Anambra), Sharon Ikpeazu (Anambra), Adamu Adamu (Bauchi), Maryam Katagun (Bauchi), Timipre Sylver (Bayelsa), and George Akume (Benue).

The list also contained the names of the following; Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno), Bodi Agba (Cross River), Festus Keyamo (Delta), Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi), Clement. Ike Agba (Edo), Osagie Enanieri (Edo),  Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti), Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu), Ali Pantami (Gombe)

Emeka Nwajuba (Imo), Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa), Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna), Muhammad Mahmud (Kaduna), Sabo Sanono (Kano), Bashir Sani (Kano),  Hadi Sirika (Katsina), Abubakar Malami (Kebbi), Rahmatu Tijjani (Kogi), Lai Mohammed (Kwara), and Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara).

Others are; Adeleke Mamora (Lagos), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nassarawa),  Zubair Dada (Niger), Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun), Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Sunday Dare (Oyo), Paulen Talen (Plateau),  Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Muhammadu Ngiadi (Sokoto), Sale Mamman (Taraba), Abubakar Aliyu (Yobe)and Sadiya Umar Faru (Zamfara)

Honestly, this development is but a right step taken in the right direction, particularly when one remembers that Mr. President’s inability to appoint ministers was affecting virtually all sectors of the nation. SEE ALSO: PRESIDENT BUHARI, TRUST AND THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

However, as we commend President Buhari for this bold step, as a responsible media organization, we must not fail to add that like every socio-economic challenge that comes with its opportunities and challenges, the recent appointment instead of calming down frail nerves, has raised not just dust but more concerns and crucial issues.

First, it is in our opinion that the delay in appointment by President Buhari remains condemned as time is always of the essence in the business of leadership. This position is made worse by the fact that when you look at the list, they are all familiar faces and names that would not have taken time to find.

In the same style, as rightly argued by Nigerians with critical interest, ‘the President needs ministers and appointees who will firm out what the next level means in terms of education, housing, and health and in other sectors. He cannot do it alone, as he is just one person trying to serve 200 million Nigerians and he is not reputed to be a superhuman.

But we would have expected the nominations of Nigerians that help make innovation possible, and assist Mr. President with useful roadmaps to the next level.

But the opposite was the case.

Instead of recycling those Ministers that assisted the President to engineer failure and turn the nation to a poverty capital in his first term, Nigerians had hoped that the President would perform this role of  finding  the right people excellently as the key to the success of every administration depends to a greater extent on the quality of people in charge.

The need for Mr. President to find Nigerians irrespective of party affiliations to help stimulate, and sustain economic growth, sustain stability and encourage investments that create wealth, without necessarily recycling the members of the old Executive  is imperative  as attempting to engineer prosperity with the same structures that created failures will translate to a mere waste of time.

After all, it is on good ground that the managers of our nation’s economy continues to go against the provisions of the constitution as an attempt to disengage governance from public sector control of the economy has only played into the waiting hands of the profiteers of goods and services to the detriment of the Nigerian people; thereby leaving the nation to lie prostrate and diminish socially and economically.

Another thorny choice that has plagued the ministerial list and dwarfed the President’s posture on corruption fight is the inclusion in the list of some Nigerians as nominees that are yet to clear their names in corruption-related cases, or still being prosecuted for corruption-related cases in one court or the other.

Even  if at the end the nominees are found not to be corrupt,  one thing-just in case Mr. President has forgotten is that like every other socioeconomic challenge, corruption will be difficult to fight or meaningful changes implemented on the nation’s political shore when the individuals/institutions who are the cause of the problems in the first place are still around. And attempting to engineer prosperity without confronting the root cause of the problems and politics that keep them going is unlikely to bear fruits.

Similarly, considering the global affirmation on women, which preaches and promotes ceding 35% political positions or public offices to women, giving only seven ministerial positions to women in a 43 member cabinet may not be a fair deal to the women.

While we continue to congratulate and wish the deserving nominees well, we hold the opinion that Mr. President can still look into these issues raised; make changes when and where necessary that will truly place the nation on the right socioeconomic highway.

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