Lobbying Soars: 11 States Absent from President Tinubu's Ministerial Nominations - The Trent

2023-07-29 15:17:00

The Trent

ABUJA, Nigeria - President Bola Tinubu sent a list of 28 ministerial nominees to the national assembly for screening on Thursday, July 27, 2023.

However, in a surprising development, the list leaves out representatives from 11 states.

It revealed that Katsina, Cross River, and Bauchi states have each landed two ministerial nominations.

In contrast, there are currently no Adamawa, Bayelsa, Gombe, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Plateau, Lagos, Osun, Yobe, and Zamfara.

As amended, section 147(3) of the 1999 constitution mandates that the "President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State."

While historical variations in ministerial allocations from state to state exist, the constitution maintains a minimum quota of "at least one" from each state.

The list of nominees includes prominent names such as Nasir El-Rufai from Kaduna, Nyesom Wike from Rivers, and Nkiru Onyejiocha from Abia.

It also features the occasional anomaly where a female nominee represents her husband's state, reminiscent of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's 2003 nomination for Abia state.

Anticipation now surrounds how President Tinubu will address this constitutionally problematic situation.

Given the requirement for nationwide representation, a supplementary list is expected to be forwarded to the Senate, rectifying the glaring omission of nominees from the 11 states currently without representation.

After a tense period of anticipation, the Nigerian Senate unveiled its ministerial list on Thursday, July 27, 2023 revealing some surprising absences.

Among those not included were former Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola and former Ben Ayade, despite prior speculations hinting at their inclusion.

On the other hand, notable personalities such as former Governors Nasiru El Rufai, Nyeson Wike, Dave Umahi, and Abubakar Badaru were included on the list.

The Senate resumed plenary slightly past noon and retreated into an executive session for about half an hour.

Following this, Senate President Godswill Akpabio announced the names during the plenary, after the Senate leader moved a motion under point of order 1(b) and (a) of the Senate's rule book.

In quoting the orders, the Senate President stated, "1(a) the proceeding in the Senate and in all committees of the Senate shall be conducted by the following standing orders." He continued with Order 1(b), which mandates that the Senate shall regulate its procedure through resolution in situations not provided for in these standing orders.

The Senate President clarified that he was invoking a standing order, specifically order 12(1)I, which permits former speakers and deputy speakers of the House of Representatives to be admitted into the chamber with the consent of the Senate. Akpabio approved this invocation, asking the leader to continue.

Subsequently, the Senate leader invited Honorable Femi Gbajabiamila, former speaker of the House of Representatives and current Chief of Staff to the President, to present the all-important ministerial list.

The Senate President confirmed this, saying, "The leader of the Senate had moved a motion in line with rule 12i of our standing order that this hallowed chamber do allow the former speaker of the House of Representatives and chief of staff to the President to have entry into the session and the minority leader has seconded this. I am pleased to announce to Nigerians that the President has sent the ministerial list."

The list revealed the following names: Abubakar Momoh, Amb. Yusuf Maitama, Architect Dangiwa, Hanatu Musawa, Chief Uche Nnaji, Beta Edu, Doris Aniche, David Umahi, Nyesom Wike, Mohamed Badaru Abubakar, Nasir Elrufai, Ekperikpe Ekpo, Nkiru Onyejiocha, Olubumi Ojo, Stella Okotekpe, Uju Kennedy, Bello Mohammed Goroyo, Dele Alake, Lateef Fagbemi, Mohammed Idris, Edu Muhi, Wahid Adebayo, Imma Suleiman, Ali Pate, Joseph Utsev, Abubakar Kyari, John Eno, and Sani Abubakar Damladi.

This announcement marks the end of the suspense-filled period that had taken over Nigeria's media space. As the newly announced ministers take on their roles, the country now looks forward to seeing their impact and contributions in the coming years.

2023-07-29 News