BAT’s Preliminary List of Ministers – The Juggling & Chess Game

The Nigerian Senate promised that week that it will today start the screening those on the preliminary list of ministers sent to it by President Bola Tinubu. Only very few of the prospective ministers are unknown. Many of them have been this or that in Nigeria’s political system at different levels.

I have always wondered why certain categories of politicians recycle themselves just to be in the system and be ‘Government Pikin’ all their life. Such people do not know what it is to be involved in other endeavours, apart from political positions. Some may not have entered the system from early life but once they taste office, they want to be there forever. Some have been in public office all their life, at least as long as they attained adulthood, so they know nothing else apart from appointment into public office from Local Government, State to Federal; and some even graduate to the international system and be made ambassadors, only to return and even become Special Assistant on something to somebody.

Nyesom Wike

When the ministers’ list was released last week, a Twitter user asked a question: ‘What are David Umahi, Nyesom Wike, Badaru Abubakar, Nasir El-Rufai doing on the list? ……Can’t they nominate people for the ministerial post?’ Serious questions indeed.

Why do ex-governors want to become ministers when they have occupied the seat of power in a much larger constituency? From the Nigerian Public Officers Order of Precedence, such governors are taking a drop in their previous positions? In the case of Ex Governors Wike and El-Rufai, they were even ministers in a previous dispensation before becoming governors and now they are back to ministers?

The top 13 positions in Nigeria’s Order of Precedence are:

  1. President
  2. Vice President
  3. Senate President
  4. Speaker of House of Reps
  5. Chief Justice of Nigeria
  6. Former Presidents
  7. Former Vice President
  8. Deputy Senate President
  9. Deputy Speaker of House of Reps
  10. Senators & House of Reps Members
  11. State Governors
  12. President Court of Appeal and Justice of Supreme Court
  13. Ministers of cabinet rank

Note that senators are higher on the list than ministers. Yet Nigerian senators also hustle to become ministers.

Why? Obviously because of executive powers which Ministers have at the behest of the President.

But why not yield such spots to your nominee?

The full list and the states they represent are:

  1. Akwa Ibom: Ekperikpe Ekpo
  2. Cross river: Betta Edu
  3. Cross river: John Enoh
  4. Delta: Stella Okotete
  5. Edo: Abubakar Momoh
  6. Rivers: Nyesom Wike
  7. Bauchi: Yusuf M Tuggar
  8. Bauchi: Ali Pate
  9. Borno: Abubakar Kyari
  10. Taraba: Sani A Danladi
  11. Jigawa: Mohamed Badaru
  12. Kaduna: Nasir El-Rufai
  13. Katsina: Ahmad Dangiwa
  14. Katsina: Hanatu Musawa
  15. Sokoto: Bello M. Goronyo
  16. Abia: Nkiru Onyejiocha
  17. Anambra: Uju Ohaneye
  18. Ebonyi: David Umahi
  19. Enugu: Uche Nnaji
  20. Imo: Doris Uzoka
  21. Ekiti: Dele Alake
  22. Ondo: Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo
  23. Ogun: Olawale Edun
  24. Oyo: Adebayo Adelabu
  25. Benue: Joseph Utsev
  26. Kwara: Lateef Fagbemi
  27. Nasarawa: Imaan S-Ibrahim
  28. Niger: Mohammed Idris

The 28-member list has 7 women – Mrs. Iman Suleiman Ibrahim, Barr. Hannatu Musawa, Dr. Berta Edu, Dr. Doris Aniche Uzoka, Hon. Stella Okotete, Hon. Uju Kennedy Ohaneye and Hon. Nkiru Onyeojiocha. Is this number of women a plus or minus for gender balancing? I am sure those pushing for affirmative active will have their say eventually.

11 states yet to fill their slots. What is sure too, is that several ‘Government Pikins’ will be beneficiaries of some of the remaining slots. Such men and women don’t just know any other business but public office or political positions.

As the Senate begin their screening, will it really be screening? Or another case of ‘Take a bow and go?’


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