TINUBU’S PRESIDENCY COUNCIL: Do Not Barrage Your Cabinet With Former Governors, Avoid Mistakes Of Buhari’s Selection
Let me first join millions of Nigerians both at home and in Diaspora, and leaders of the world to congratulate the 16th elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR on his assumption into the highest office in the land.
The 2023 Presidential election will always be remembered for its electoral uniqueness in the history of our electioneering process in Nigeria. The election marks the 7th consecutive Presidential election in our country, since the beginning of the Fourth Republic in 1999 which is the longest democratic system of government in Nigeria.
From the 1999 Presidential elections to the last in 2019 before the forthwith conducted election, the winners of the elections polled above the 10 million votes threshold. In the 1999 Presidential election which was contested majorly between Chief Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP and Chief Olu Falae of the AD/APP, Obasanjo polled 18,738,154 votes to defeat Falae. In 2003, Obasanjo seek re-election to office under the same PDP and it was majorly between him and Buhari under ANPP, after the election Obasanjo polled 24,456,140 votes to defeat Buhari.
In 2007, the election was among three northern candidates of Late Umaru Yar’Adua of the PDP, Buhari of the ANPP, and Atiku of the AC and after the conduct of the election, Yar’Adua of the PDP polled 24,638,063 votes to defeat his northern brothers to become the President but unfortunately, he died after two years that he assumed office. In 2011, it was a contest between Dr Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, Buhari of the CPC, and Nuhu Ribadu of the ACN and at the end of the election, Jonathan of the PDP won the election with 22,495,187 votes.
In 2015, it was a pungent contest between the incumbent, Jonathan under the PDP, and Buhari under the APC. The election was marred by all sorts of allegations from the opposition party, APC, which came to being in 2014 as a result of the merger of the CPC, ANPP, and ACN to form a coalition to oust the 16 years of the PDP ruling since 1999. After the conduct of the election, Muhammadu Buhari of the APC polled 15,424,921 votes to end the PDP political hegemony in Aso Rock. In 2019, Buhari seek re-election under the same APC and it was a northern affair between him and Atiku of the PDP after the election, Buhari was declared the winner with 15,191,847 votes to defeat Atiku.
The 2023 election did not take the winning votes ritual of the previous elections. The election was a replica of the 1979 and 1983 elections. Bola Tinubu of the APC, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, and Peter Obi of the LP were the major contenders in the election. The election was characterised by religious bigotry, ethnic profiling, cash crush from the CBN and discriminatory fuel scarcity, and political internal confrontations in the PDP and APC. The election was competed and won by the candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu but erred to cross the conventional threshold of 10 million votes of his predecessors in office.
In announcing the results of the election by the electoral umpire, INEC, Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku of the PDP and Obi of the LP. To further show the uniqueness of the election, the three major candidates won 12 states each.
The 2023 election has the highest number of registered voters in the history of our elect93.5 million3.5 million but the meagerest number of voters of 25.3 million and voter turnout of 27%.
FORMATION OF FEDERAL CABINET
Section 147 of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution, as amended subsection (1) There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President. (3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall conform with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:- provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State.
The formation of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) is embedded in this section of our Constitution, which also allows each state to be well-represented in the Council. The success or failure of any administration lies in the selection of who is appointed to be members of the Council by the President, as they are the instruments that the President will be obligatorily used to executive government programmes and policies across the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies(MDAs).
In Nigeria today, it is far becoming a tradition that former Governors of the ruling party in power are now given the automatic bond or considered first Ministers before shopping for technocrats and other party loyalists, which is now becoming unsatisfactory to Nigerians as they are evaluated with KPI not to be performing to the odds of the general public.
In the last administration of Muhammadu Buhari, we have several former Governors in the cabinet within the eight years among who are; Raji Fashola of Lagos, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa-Ibom, Chris Ngige of Anambra, Ogbonnaya Onu of Anambra, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, etc which they occupied substantial ministries and seen themselves as seniors in the cabinet.
Also, the selection of incompetent ministers distorted the administration of Buhari, which the immediate Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu alluded to a few days to leave Buhari knew that he did not understand anything about education but yet insisted that he should oversee the ministry and no wonder, that the ministry suffered unprecedentedly in the last eight years of the Buhari’s administration.
The former Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige was heavily criticized by Nigerian workers over his lackluster performance in the office, and his failure to play an effective intermediary role between the union and government and many more of the former Governors. The former First Lady, Aisha Buhari once voiced out that the majority of the Ministers working with her husband were chosen for them and that Mr President did not even know them.
In a few months to come, after the proclamation of the 10th National Assembly, President Bola Tinubu will be foreseen to forward the list of ministerial nominees that will be working with him for the next four years to the House(Senate) for confirmation.
President Tinubu must not allow former governors in the party to subjugate the list, in the name of rewarding them or trying to compensate those governors that lost their senatorial bids.
One of the selling campaign points for President Tinubu is the fact that people believe that his choice of people working with him is based on competence and capacity, and not in the name of political compensation which made him an outstanding governor in Nigeria from 1999-2007, the same method must be adopted by Mr President in selecting his cabinet members.
President Tinubu must know that enormous tasks are awaiting him and in surmounting the challenges he will need competent hands who are coming to serve and not those who are coming to retire at the Council after their eight years as Governors.
President Tinubu must know that Nigerians are expecting him to hit the ground running without any delay.
I wish Mr. President good health, wisdom, and capacity to steer the ship of Nigeria to a promised land.
Sam Olorunfemi Jr