The leadership of the Labour Party has knocked President Bola Tinubu over the first batch of ministerial nominees unveiled by the Senate on Thursday.
The LP said the ministerial nominees were an assemblage of ‘recycled, spent forces and anti-democratic elements.’
Mixed reactions have continued to trail the announcement of the nominees, with some critics expressing disappointment over the absence of the highly anticipated ‘technocrats’ in the long-awaited list.
Many young Nigerians on social media have also questioned the list, saying the politicians who made the list were merely rewarded for roles played in the last election.
The nominees included former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and his counterparts from Ebonyi, Jigawa, and Rivers – Dave Umahi, Badaru Abubakar, and Nyesom Wike respectively.
In the list were seven women including the only APC female presidential aspirant at the last convention, Uju Ohanenye; deputy spokesperson for the dissolved Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Council, Hannatu Musawa and APC National Women Leader, Betta Edu among others.
However, a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, stated that submitting ministerial nominees list in piecemeal as the president did on Thursday runs foul of the Electoral Act.
Ifoh further said that what Nigerians saw on the list of ministers was a recycling of some ‘failed and clueless politicians’ as against dynamic youths and resulted-oriented technocrats that was earlier promised.
He said, “Some of these nominees played prominent anti-democratic roles in the previous administration, particularly since 2015, which saw the APC government fail in all 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, potentials, and resources Nigeria is known for. It still baffles us as to why this government ignored the youthful and technocratic potentials that abound 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 to salvage and reposition the country.”
The LP spokesman also expressed disappointment that the president chose to unveil his ministerial nominees in batches as against presenting the entire list within 60 days.
According to him, 60 days was enough for any serious government to put together a cabinet.
“Again, we are worried that the ministerial list is being presented piecemeal. The constitution of Nigeria clearly states that at least a minister must be appointed from each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The Electoral Act as amended also stipulates that a list containing ministerial nominees must be sent to the Senate within 60 days from 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 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,” he stated.