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Group decries uproar over Buhari’s ministerial nominees

President Buhari
President Muhamadu Buhari

National Coalition for Democratic Change (NCDC) has expressed ‘deep concern’ with the controversy over appointment of ministers by the Buhari’s administration.

In a statement by the organization signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, the group, Sunday, said the ‘misgivings and disquiet’ over previous appointments made by the new administration and the recent release of ministerial nominees ordinarily ‘ought not to be the case sixteen years after a long and tortuous journey into democracy. ‘

“Against popular expectations, it would appear the new government is rather not in tune or sensitive with peculiar demand of geopolitical balance and federal character in the appointment into key political office. While the government has repeatedly hinged its choice of appointments on competence and integrity, it goes without saying that the government was only being pretentious.

In spite of the unusually long wait and needless suspense over appointment of ministers, it is rather disappointing that Nigerians may yet have to wait for a much longer period before governance could take firm root almost five months after the celebrated the government was sworn into office and seven months after a most contentious election that led to the much-anticipated alternate of power at the apex of governance in the political history.

“The NCDC considers the inability of the Buhari’s to submit a full list of ministerial nominees to the national assembly after four months in office as rather disappointing and indefensible. Considering that 95% of the nominees are top echelon and loyalists of the APC, the government cannot sufficiently justify the long delay in selecting competent hands amongst its frontline members. If it is becoming increasingly clear that the APC is finding it pretty difficult to put its house in order with regards to sharing political office, Nigerians must therefore be concerned about the future of governance when the pressure and intrigues of dispensing political patronages becomes more demanding in months ahead.

“The NCDC shares the concerns of most Nigerians that APC led government was yet to allay fears over its readiness to meet the aspirations of the people for good governance. With the lingering uncertainties surrounding affairs of government under the new democratic leadership, it would thus appear the unfinished business of ministerial selection may continue much longer than necessary with Nigerians denied the benefit of genuine governance based on the rule of law. While Nigerians are beginning to wonder if the inconclusive list of ministerial nominees about to be screened by the Senate is by any means the true reflection of the collective expectation and hope of a new beginning for which the APC secured popular mandate based on its change mantra, there are however need to worry about what has become present and clear danger with the emerging scenario over appointments made so far by leadership of the APC.

The NCDC is compelled to draw attention to the lopsidedness in the appointments made so far by the Buhari’s administration. Nigerians are concerned that the Buhari’s administration is not prepared to improve on the records of its predecessors regarding gender-balance in the appointment of minister and headship of the MDAs. The APC and the Buhari’s administration must be reminded that Nigeria is not only a signatory to the Beijing convention but also an active member of relevant global platforms on Affirmative Action. NCDC is therefore of a strong conviction that it is too late in the day to take the country back on the road already covered in the democratic journey or, by any stretch of imagination, to reverse the gains already recorded to put Nigeria on a pedestal of global standard in democratic leadership.

“It has also become instructive to condemn the rather insensitive and reprehensible way the APC government is recycling old and tired politicians who at best ought to be sought for advice. The NCDC considers it rather outrageous that the list of ministerial nominees left young and vibrant intellectuals as well as professionals who were the mirrors and brains for the propagation of the change agenda which President Buhari and the APC hugely benefitted from. For the avoidance of doubts, the list of ministerial nominees depicts the APC as the the most unlikely platform for prosecuting and realising the new order which the change agenda should be all about.

“The NCDC therefore demands that the Buhari’s government must as a matter of urgency and utmost importance make the necessary amends to reverse the unwarranted delay in constituting the government and to also put an end to all deliberate and misdirected ploy to undermine the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whose inviolability must remain sacrosanct regardless of individual urge or temptation.

“The NCDC also considers the inclusion of indicted and investigated former governors in the list of ministerial nominees very contradictory and utter betrayal of the overwhelming public support which President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade has elicited so far. The NCDC wishes to place on record that two of the ministerial nominees are currently being investigated by the EFCC and ICPC based on petitions on allegations of corruption. It has also become instructive to emphasize that former governor Rotimi Ameachi has been indicted by a Commission of Inquiry set up by Rivers state government.

“The NCDC wishes to urge all Nigerians to be vigilant and remain committed to engaging the democratic process in order to bring about the dividends of good governance and rule of law which was at the core of the demands for a change in government,” the group said.

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