The Labour Party (LP) leadership has chastised President Bola Tinubu over the cabinet list it forwarded to the National Assembly and unveiled on Thursday.
Femi Gbajiabiamila, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, now Chief of Staff to the President, had delivered the 28 minister-nominees list which included Abubakar Momoh, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, Hammad Dangiwa, Hanatu Musawa, Chief Uche Nnaji, Beta Edu, Doris Aniche, David Umahi, Nyesom Wike, Mohammed Abubakar and Nasir El-Rufai, among others to the senate.
According to LP’s National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, the list falls far short of Nigeria’s aspirations.
The party also expressed concerns about the ministerial list being presented in batches and announced that it would seek appropriate legal advice in the coming days on the legality or otherwise of a piecemeal submission of the ministerial list rather than the full list as required by the Electoral Act.
“Nigerians expected more quality, character, dynamic, and results-oriented Nigerians to be on that list, but instead saw a recycling of some failed and clueless politicians who have contributed to bringing Nigeria to its parlous condition,” according to the LP.
“Some of these nominees were prominent anti-democratic figures in the previous administration, particularly since 2015 when the APC government failed to keep all of its promises to Nigerians.”
“We also saw “Prebendal” politics in full swing where mainly the cronies and lackeys of the APC national leader were selected for a reward for servitude and blind discipleship. This list does not in any way reflect the enormous reservoir of talents, potential, and resources Nigeria is known for. It still baffles us as to why this government ignored the youthful and technocratic potential that abounds but rather chose to appoint spent forces that have failed Nigeria in the past.
“A glance at the list exposes the absence of technocrats who usually form the nucleus or core policy implementers in any given government and unfortunately in their place are fawning politicians who may not be of any help in the needed efforts in salvaging and repositioning the country for effective delivery, given the socio-economic condition of the people, given the challenges we have with the economy as well as in all other facets of life including security, health, education, and poverty reduction amongst others.”
The LP further recalled that the Electoral Act also stipulates that a list containing the ministerial nominees must be sent to the Senate within 60 days from the day of commencement of a government for screening and confirmation. It noted, however, that what was witnessed was a hurriedly prepared list that excluded nominations from about 10 states in clear violation of the laws of the land.
“The constitution of Nigeria clearly states that at least a minister must be appointed from each of the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory. The Electoral Act also stipulates that a list containing the ministerial nominees must be sent to the Senate within 60 days from the day of the commencement of a government for screening and confirmation. But what we witnessed was a hurriedly prepared list that excluded nominations from about 10 states in clear violation of the laws of the land.
“Sixty days is quite a lengthy period for any serious government to form its executive team. This development appears even more ridiculous because we know that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has struggled to be president for over two decades and therefore should have been able by now to identify and have a solid team selected across the country that is qualified to hold ministerial positions. But this has not happened.
“Had it not been for the Electoral Act which compels a government to submit a ministerial list within 60 days, given what we are seeing, one wonders how long it would have taken the APC leadership to form the government. This is because it took the immediate past APC administration over six months to appoint its ministers in 2015. Nigeria cannot afford to be managed by a visionless and clueless leadership that does not understand the importance of haste in salvaging a crisis-ridden nation like ours.
“The Labour Party will therefore in the days ahead seek proper legal counsel on the legality or otherwise of a piecemeal submission of the ministerial list as against the submission of the “Full” list as envisaged by the Electoral Act”. About 10 states will not have representatives in the Federal Executive Council meeting when it is convened. No state in Nigeria should be made to suffer for the ill-preparedness and incongruous attitude of this government.”
The party went on to say that what the country needed at this juncture were people with a track record, young people with enthusiasm who can travel the country, think outside the box, and think all night without sleeping, to bring solutions to the nation’s myriad difficulties.