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Now that President Buhari's Ministerial List is here, is the list worth the wait?



Image credit: The Punch

Four months after winning a re-election into office, President Muhammadu Buhari on 23 rd. of July did the needful by forwarding a list of his ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening.

The 43-man list comprises a few returnees as well as a number of other politicians who need no introduction either as immediate or distant past state governors and the likes.

Among others, the one question that has been on the lips of most political watchers is the list worth the wait?

It is quite easy to pander to the argument that the list is about the President favouring or compensating if you like politicians who worked for  his re-election and not about competence.

The cynics also may say: "if this is what the President has to offer while keep us in suspense for that long".

Another group may want to go the comparative way by alluding to the fact that even in some emergent African democracies the same process has taken less than two weeks or less.

For instance, the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his ministerial list within a week of after he was confirmed by the parliament. Similar thing can also be said of Maxky Sall the newly elected President of Senegal.

Before the released of the Ministerial list, political activists and opinion leaders have enumerated a number of negative downsides to the prolonged delay by the President in arriving at a list of ministers that will work with him for the next four years.

This includes essentially the portrayal of the country as not being serious in the eyes of domestic and international partners and agencies as well as impacting negatively on investors' confidence.

Indeed, media reports to the later effect have permeated the public domain in the last four months or thereabout with some investors reportedly divesting from the economy darkening further its gloomy outlooks.

Be that as it may, every politics we will all agree is local. And so political appointments must fulfill both basic constitutional provisions and political considerations.

In our case, every state must produce a minister. In our case also whether we agree or not, political stakeholders, especially those who work assiduously for the President's re-election must make their inputs.

Clearly therefore, it is not about whether or not the wait is worth the while. Rather, it is essentially one which aligns with a rough mix of compensation and competence.

I'm quite aware of calls in some quarters that technocrats be appointed by the President into ministerial positions to fast track the developmental yearnings of the country.

Except that clarifications were not made by those championing this cause because just as we have technocrats within the rank and file of the ruling party, we also have them in the private sector.

But I'll strongly object to the idea that competent men and women who do not belong to the ruling party or any party for that matter and neither summon the courage to step out of the comfort zones of their various industries and into the political arena possibly because it is quote on quote dirty be handed the rewards that should rightly be for those who has rolled up their sleeves and trousers in political match up of the last general elections.

Anybody who nurses the dream of getting appointed as cabinet ministers or commissioners in any government must make it a point of duty to join the political parties of their choice and not wait in the wings expecting a windfall fortune as opportunists.

Of course, it is a democracy because of its participatory fundamentals.
However, if the elected actors and in this case the President in his wisdom and right decided to sway one or two positions in favour of some arm-chair critics or neutrals if you like it is welcome.

But for anybody to insist that layback people of whatever expertise or competence be railroad into his cabinet all in the name technocracy and likes is tantamount to robbing Peter to pay Paul.Paul must learn to earn his title or office as well as his rewards.

After all, the good book affirms it that the Messiah will only reward each and every one in accordance with their labour. To do so clearly will amount to a miscarriage of justice.

Back to the list proper, I honestly believe it is populated by men and women of competent abilities and tested.

They can, without any gainsaying, bring to the table equal amount of know-how if not more than what the so called technocrats holed up in the comfort of their homes or offices may offer whenever politics takes center stage.

As members of the opposition party, you may not like it the way it is. You may not even like the fact that members of your party who defected to the ruling party get nominated.

Things like that can be painful. And I really sympathize with you.
But it is what it is. Like my people will say, "this is how I'm going to do my thing rarely changes". And it will also not be in your best interest to wish they fail either expressively or under your breathe.

The best I expect from those not aligned with the present situation of things as regards the President's ministerial list is to fine tune their political strategies ahead of 2023 general elections or manage to offer constructive criticisms and useful suggestions as a token of their one off public spirited Nigerianess.

I also hope the nay sayers won't take the President to court for this because it will amount to the lengthening their extant frustrations, wasting of precious time and valuable resources. The President has acted within the precinct of his presidential powers in absolutism.

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