The much anticipated release of the names of the Ministerial nominees and the attendant screening has been completed, and the names of those who were successful are already with the President.
Initially 28 names were sent to the upper chamber of the National Assembly. A second batch of 19 names was sent a week later. On the day of the screening of the 2nd batch, Maryam Shetty of Kano State had her name yanked off to be replaced with Dr Marius Mahmoud. Festus Keyamo, a senior advocate of Nigeria was added to the list to make it a total of 48 Ministerial nominees.
Chapter 6, Part 1, Section 147 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended stipulates the appointment of at least one Minister from each State who shall be an indigene of such State. This implies the 36 States of the Federal republic of Nigeria is entitled to at least a Minister.
Ogun State is turning out to be a Super State. It is the only State with 3 nominees. Kano, Lagos, Kebbi, Katsina, Bauchi, Cross River and Niger States have 2 nominees each. The others have a nominee each.
The screening session was full of drama and theatrics .More than half of the nominees were asked to take a ‘bow and go’ after reading out their resumes. Even the one with 2 WAEC credits was given a soft landing. An Ajantala( Presumed Genius) that started primary School at the age of 3 was let off, even though he couldn’t convince the hallow chamber. Dr Bosun Tijani with his numerous unpatriotic Tweets was let off. Some one that described his country as a ‘ bloody expensive tag’ and a time called the hallow Chamber a ‘bunch of Morons’ was only asked to apologize and go. Some Senators attributed his outbursts to youthful exuberance.
One could notice double standards at play with the screening exercise. A video was trending on the internet just before the screening exercise of the ex Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike vehemently lambasting the APC as a cancer that has destroyed the fabric of the Nation. He told the interviewer why should he substitute Malaria for cancer. In short, PDP is malaria and APC is cancer. Wonders never end . The man in question now prefers the cancer to malaria. In fact he is hugging the cancer.
One would have expected the APC Senators to have interrogated and queried the nominee, but the timid Senators were either intimidated by the ex Governor’s profile or fell for the intense lobbying prior to the screening. He was simply asked to take a bow and leave.
Consistency in character is a highly regarded virtue that reflects a person’s commitment to principled virtues. Consistency involves acting in a steady, predictable, honest and upright manner. This invariably leads to respect and trust. Does this nominee have such attributes?
Hear the Senate President’s explanation. He told those that cared to listen the Nominee has been screened once by the Senate when he was nominated by President Jonathan in 2011. He served as the Minister of State for Education under the PDP administration.
Were Nasir El Rufai and Festus Keyamo not ex Ministers? El Rufai was one of the 3 Nominees not given the green light by the Senate and Keyamo was thoroughly grilled by the Red Chamber. It took an emergency dash by the Senate President to the Villa and numerous apologies by the nominee before he scaled through. In short, what was good for the Goose was not applicable to the Gander.
There was also a rewind, which turned out to be an emotional development where a Nominee, Professor Tahir Manman was defended by one of his students Senator Kaka Lawan. He told his colleagues the Nominee treated him well during his University days. Lesson to be learnt is that you will rip whatever you sow and no condition is permanent. Just be good in what ever position you find yourself. The Teacher had to bow before his Student.
The screening exercise also exposed Governor Demola Adeleke’s act of statesmanship and his overall commitment to the development of Osun State irrespective of political affiliation or party. Despite dragging each other up to the Supreme Court, he was magnanimous enough to support his predecessor Gboyega Oyetola through the 3 PDP Osun State Senators during the screening exercise. The PDP Senators spoke gloriously and highly about the Ex Governor during the screening session.That was politics without bitterness. How l wish it will be embraced in all our political dealings.
How that the screening exercise is over , and the names of the successful Nominees now on the President’s table. It is time to allocate portfolios to them. Square pegs should be put in square holes. At lot of work needs to be done on our decaying infrastructure, rampart insecurity, the health sector is in comatose with the daily capital flight of it’s personnel (Japa). The economy is wobbling as it seems that inflation is on steroids. Our currency is losing value per second. Our exchange rate to the Dollar has beaten the PMS price to the #1000 mark. The country needs to hastily move from a consuming Nation to a producing one. Being a mono economy is a big setback. The masses are hungry and angry.
Mr President, ise ya.