Contrary to widespread speculation that the ministerial nominees recently presented to the Senate for confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari were nominated by their respective state governors, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said no governor had a hand in the nominations. El-Rufai disclosed this on Saturday while responding to questions during the state’s monthly Town Hall meeting held in the central senatorial zone.
This was as the report of the judicial inquest commissioned by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike to probe his predecessor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi’s administration continued to be a wedge issue in the way of the latter’s ministerial nomination. The report of the inquiry, which indicted Amaechi for misappropriation and directed his prosecution, has been criticised as mere pursuit of a vendetta by a Peoples Democratic Party governor against his All Progressives Congress predecessor. But the document was circulated to senators on Wednesday in Abuja prior to Amaechi’s scheduled screening that day, which was, however, shifted to Tuesday.
In a related development, the Sokoto State chapter of APC saturday continued their protest against the nomination of Miss Aisha Abubakar as a minister from the state, with a letter to Buhari. They maintained in the letter that it was against the spirit of the Federal Character, equity, and fairness for the minister and governor to come from the same local government area. Besides, the Sokoto State APC alleged that Abubakar’s loyalty to the party was doubtful.
Buhari had on September 30 sent a list of 21 ministerial nominees (one was later withdrawn) to Senate President Bukola Saraki for confirmation by the upper chamber. The president followed up on October 12 with a second list of 16 nominees. Many believed that in line with a seeming political tradition the 36 minister-nominees, every one of which represents each state of the federation, had been chosen by the state governors. But El-Rufai, while dismissing speculations that he nominated Hajia Zainab Shamsudeen for appointment as minister by Buhari, said no governor selected any nominee for the president.
El-Rufai said at the town hall meeting held at the Kaduna International Trade Fair Complex, “No governor nominated any ministerial appointee for the president.”
The governor stressed, “Before we were elected as governors, we advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow any governor to nominate minister for him because if he allows that they will nominate somebody of their choice and not that of the president’s choice.
“The president heeded that advice.
“And there are some people who appeared on the face as APC, but right inside them they are PDP. We know those who did anti-party. And they didn’t vote for us but they went to get houses close to Buhari in Abuja for nomination.
“So President Buhari single-handedly nominated Zainab.”
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