With the announcement of President Bola Tinubu’s 47 cabinet picks, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on Wednesday raised concerns over the list, particularly the nomination of seven former governors, two of whom respectively lost their last re-election bids.
The roll-call included one-term governors Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), alongside their two-term counterparts, Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).
The IPAC National Chairman, Yabagi Sani, in a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, took issue with Tinubu’s choices, particularly after his struggle for Nigeria’s return to democracy in the 1990s.
“How can you come and then embark on policies that you know are anti-people and you now put people that you know?” he said.
“Some of the people that he put as ministers were rejected by the people; some of them contested and they were rejected.
“So, how can you bring them back through the back door again and say they must preside over the affairs of the people? That’s not the kind of country we want to run. We must begin to give Nigerians confidence.”
According to him, no Nigerian would say they are impressed by the President’s ministerial list.
“I’m disappointed – awfully disappointed – because, like I said, Mr President, Tinubu, is behaving differently from what I expected of him,” he said.
‘Jumping On Clichés’
A member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Ayo Oyalowo, who appeared on the programme opposite the IPAC chairman, opposed the notion that the former governors nominated as ministers were undeserving.
In his view, there is compensation on the one hand and competence on the other.
“Sometimes, we like to jump on clichés. Even if you’re a Christian or a Muslim, you’re serving God because there’s a benefit attached to it,” Oyalowo said.
“If people are in politics, they are looking for something, so I really don’t see anything wrong in people getting benefits from where they actually worked. For instance, some of these governors worked for him to win his mandate.”
Arguing that he was impressed with the nominations, the APC member expressed his belief that several of them brought competence to the table.
“I believe that they are the ones who will run the economy – someone like a Wale Edun, for instance – very impressive name, great resume, excellent track record. Those are people that I expect to run the economy,” he said.