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PMB and formation of robust cabinet

It is incontestable that the first four years captainship of President Muhammad Buhari for the Nigerian ship has been very challenging despite his fervent efforts.…

It is incontestable that the first four years captainship of President Muhammad Buhari for the Nigerian ship has been very challenging despite his fervent efforts. Thus, his conspicuous outstanding records in fighting corruption and insecurity (duo of his three campaign promises in 2015) specifically endeared him to, and earned him the respect of the electorates, resulting in obtaining fresh mandate to continue the national assignment for the next level from May 29th 2019.

There is no gain saying that ministers and other aids are the driving force to achieving the goals and the developmental agenda of any government, including that of Muhammad Buhari. It is often said ‘a tree doesn’t make a forest’, to stress the need for reliable assistants in confronting the herculean task of governance.

Commentators, observers and indeed many Nigerians have for long been expecting some reshuffling of the PMB cabinet with a view to injecting better hands, in view of some perceptions of the low performance of some of the outgoing Ministers. Many commentators attribute the low-level performance of some of the ministers to the mode of their selection which in turn paved the way for the emergence of persons with glaring incapability and lacking the integrity similar to that of Mr. President.

In our humble view, PMB this time around, must strive harder to score very high in attaining the trio goals of his administration: fighting insecurity, uprooting corruption and improving the economy. Buhari must put Nigeria in perfect track and bequeath a legacy worthy of emulation. He must entrench an egalitarian society where the development and wellbeing of the citizenry is paramount. This is barely possible by ensuring that ONLY persons with undisputable capacity and unquestionable integrity are considered for nomination to join the next level train.

The capacity issue which entails the requisite experience and exposure, good educational standing as well as link with grass root or any relevant constituency among other issues, should be the yard stick for any nomination.  Consequent upon this, Nigerians expect to see credible people, who have been tested and trusted, form part of the incoming cabinet.  For instance, the outgoing Comptroller General of Customs  Col. Hamid Ibrahim Ali (Rtd),  Prof Ishaq Oloyede,  the Registrar of JAMB,  The Chief of Army Staff Lt General Tukur  Buratai, as well as Professor Tijjani Bande, former UDUS Vice-Chancellor and currently  Nigeria’s permanent Representative in the United Nations, who are all adjudged to have handled their assignments diligently with high sense of responsibility,  could be respectively appointed as Ministers for Works, Education, Defence,  and  Chief of staff  to Mr. President. This will go a long way in not only appreciating but replenishing their monumental efforts in handling their current appointments, and to ensure continuation of the good work as well as encourage others to emulate.

In the same vein, we advise PMB to also consider the role being played by unassuming upright Nigerians as well as that of some patriotic anti-corruption crusaders such as former EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu, Prof Sadiq Radda, Dr. Usman Ladan and Professor Asisi Osobe in the formation of his cabinet.

Similarly, notwithstanding the tradition of taking into cognizance contributions rendered by individuals and groups in the campaigns that usher success in elections, still, the twin principles of ‘capacity and integrity’ must be strictly adhered to in the nominations. Consequently, Barrister Festus Keyano, in our opinion will make a very good information minister, Prof Hafiz Abubakar the embattled former Kano state Deputy Governor can handle Science and Technology, Godswill Akpabio, Niger-Delta ministry, the APC gubernatorial candidate of Benue state Mr. Emmanuel Jime and his counterpart from Taraba state, Alhaji Sani Dalladi may also be considered.

Again, without any fear of contradiction, we also wish to emphatically advise PMB to be specifically mindful of the role played by the geopolitical entities in the successfully concluded 2019 presidential election in his pursuance of the constitutional provision of appointing at least a minister from each state of the Federation and the Federal capital. It is a known fact that the highest number of votes won by Buhari came from the North-West, North-East and the North-Central respectively, followed by the South-West, South-South and the South-East. It is needles to state that the expectations from the zones that contributed high number of votes to the success of PMB in terms of appointments and infrastructural development are very high. Most especially the statistic records have shown that the people inhabiting these zones are in abject poverty.

It is also very much expected that Mr. President will, this time around, put more competent hands to handle the economic sector. Agriculture, for instance, deserves strong persons with the commitment to achieving Buhari’s mission of self-sufficiency in food and cash crop production in the country. To this end, PMB may require the services of professionals in agriculture in addition to the experience of a practicing farmer.  The trio of agricultural research institutes of NAERLS, NAPRI and IAR with Faculty of Agriculture in ABU Zaria, should be a ready-made hub that can produce the right persons needed to head the Agriculture ministry.

Moreover, this time around, President Muhammad Buhari should assemble a robust and reliable economic team that will strategize and actualize the resuscitation and boosting of Nigeria’s economy – PMB’s third campaign promise. Professionals and experienced Nigerians should man the finance and economic planning ministries and agencies as well as ministries for solid minerals, petroleum and industries.

Truly, for any meaningful development, there must be a good leader who is ready for the journey, undoubtedly Muhammad Buhari is already on the wheel. All that is needed is to ensure that people with capacity and credibility are admitted on board as ministers.

Dr. Muhammad Ali & Mallam Sulaiman wrote this piece from Abuja

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