The long awaited ministerial list of President Muhammadu Buhari has generated a lot of debate as Nigerians have not stopped talking about the list which according to some fell short of expectations.
The modalities as declared by the senate after a closed door meeting, insisted that standard requirements which will be drawn from the1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, to ensure a hitch free exercise, has brought forth a lot mixed reactions.
According to the senate, the constitution will form the yardstick for screening of Tuesday’s ministerial nominees and shall rely on Section 147; there shall be such offices of the ministers of the federation as may be appointed by the President, meaning that there will be ministers from each state of the federation in compliance with the constitution.
Another requirement considers Section 65 which stipulates that only a person who is qualified to be a member of the House of Representatives can be qualified to be screened as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and for a person who has held a public office prior to now, that will be after presenting the proof of assets declaration issued by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
Again, the directive from the Senate that at least two Senators from the state of any nominee must accept the nomination before such a nominee can be screened, has strengthened the three Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators representing Rivers State as they have vowed to stop the nomination of the former governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi from receiving confirmation by presenting a petition to the senate, where they said Buhari should reconsider his nomination following allegations of fraud and corruption.
Similarly, in Oyo State, the All Progressives Congress has asked the President to revisit the nomination of Adebayo Shittu as minister, on the grounds that he was not a team player in the party.
While the senate President Bukola Saraki and 12 other ex-governor senators may have resolved to ensure that former Rivers State boss scales screening and confirmed as cabinet minister, to save one of their own from humiliation, the choice of the 21-man list of ministerial nominees by the President was said to have been determined by five factors; strict adherence to principle of non-interference in choosing his cabinet, integrity, selfless service, old acquaintances and less exposure to political influence and lack of provision for religion, tribe, ethnicity and other discrimination.
Still, the loggerhead caused by the favoritism of Amaechi by ex governor senators in the upper house could degenerate into loss of focus on the purpose for which stringent and rigorous steps have been employed in the selection of credible and accountable ministers to serve on the cabinet of the President, if not checked.
All the sectors of the economy needs to be in the hands of trusted Nigerians to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and the maritime industry requires a vibrant and resourceful Minister of Transport who is in tune with the change mantra of Mr. President with the prerequisite pedigree to effect the desperately needed growth in the maritime environment of a country which can provide more than 1million jobs for its teeming youths. However, Nigerians are still waiting for Buhari’s “SAINTS”.