OPINION: 2019 Ministerial Nominees: How Buhari Broke Record By Igierobo Bonaventure

Buhari and Ministers

When I was a young boy my father used to caution us that if a man is looking for what will waste his money he will go an buy a bicycle that has spoilt beyond repair. Beyond bad and rickety bicycles, many have argued that it is better to be a part of making history rather than just writing it.

Indeed, Nigeria’s uncommon leader -President Muhammadu Buhari has made history by his recent release of the list of his would-be ministers who are not only rickety but wonderfully stale and unremarkable. Nigerians are continuously reminded that their president belongs to everybody and nobody.

Recently, Nigerians were greeted with a list of ministerial nominees that will run the affairs of our nation’s government ministries’ for the next four years under President Buhari’s next level agenda. Of course, as expected, Nigerians moaned and groaned.

The ruling party chief antagonist the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) publicity secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan said: “President Muhammadu Buhari’s Ministerial list presented to the Senate today is colorless, stagnant, uninspiring and do not convey any sense of hope or purposeful governance under the APC.

“The list is replete with incompetent individuals who failed in their erstwhile Ministerial assignments and left their Ministries in a shambles. The list has further shown President Buhari and APC‘s insensitivity and disdain for Nigerians and it does not in any way reflect their hope and eagerness for a better Nigeria.”

But President Buhari rejected the advice Nigerians gave him and consulted the old young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. 

He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these Nigerians who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your previous years has put on us’?

”The old young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your previous years has put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.

“My previous years laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. If my previous years scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions by appointing colorless and tasteless ministers.’”

Beyond the whole brouhaha, it is would be record-breaking to discover how President Buhari actually made history, broke records, plates, and glasses, and told Nigerians You die there I am the best you ever had!

Only seven women made the list of 43, about 16 percent. This was no different from the six women out of 42 nominees appointed by President Buhari in 2015.

The new women nominees are Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna), a former finance minister; Paulen Talen (Plateau) a former deputy governor; Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra), the Executive Secretary of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD); and Maryam Katagun (Bauchi), Nigeria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO.

Others are Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi), former All Progressives Congress (APC) women national leader; Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara), former federal lawmaker; and Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara), the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs (NCFRMI).

Some advocates of women in politics described the development as a new height of misrepresentation when compared with the 49.4 percent of Nigeria’s population formed by women. May be to President Buhari women was created for the ‘other’ rooms and kitchens.

Again, another inspiring depressing record President Buhari broke was  the fact that the list comprises of 14 former ministers, 7 former governors amongst whom are persons perceived to be fanatically corrupt and a number of senators who failed to win re-election to the Senate, making the list riddled with recycled politicians who are not likely to bring anything new to the table.

See the list of former ministers, who were reappointed and the portfolios, that they held: Babatunde Raji Fashola (Lagos State) was Minister of Power Works and Housing, Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) was the Minister of Transport, Hadi Sirika (Katsina State) was Minister of State (Aviation), Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State) was Minister of Finance, Lai Mohammed (Kwara State) was Minister of Information and Culture, Chris Ngige (Anambra State) was Minister of Labour and Employment, Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State) was Minister of Education, Abubakar Malami (Jigawa State) was Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nigeria, Godfrey Onyeama (Enugu State) was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi State) was Minister of  Science and Technology, Osagie Enahire (Edo State) was Minister of State (Health), Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State) was Minister of Water Resources, Mohammed Bello (Adamawa State) was Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

President Buhari truly lived up to his words that he would only appoint those he knows, which is most unfortunate because, for Nigeria to move to the next level, he needs to scout for distinctive Nigerians across party lines, youths who are bubbling with fresh ideas that can turn Nigeria around within a short period of time and not necessarily those he knows.

It is obvious that this Ministerial List is nothing but a Compensation List with a total exclusion of virile youths!

President Buhari is simply out to compensate those who helped him win the second term ticket, nothing more! These nominees are certainly not capable of taking Nigeria to the next level of development. And with the way the screening by the senate went with every tom, dick and harry ‘taking a bow’ it is time we say enough is enough because monkeys were given the opportunity to wear clothes does not mean they should take a sit on the dining table.

Goodluck Nigerians.

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