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Right Advocacy Group Rejects Kaduna Ministerial Nominee

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

[Image: Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State]

The Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Initiative, CEDRA, a Kaduna based right advocacy group rejects the nomination of Ms Amina Mohammed as a minister.

Speaking in a press conference, Dr John Danfulani, the spokesman of the group urged the three senators from the state to reject any nomination that do not come from southern Kaduna. 

He also pointed out that the southern Kaduna region has been shortchanged in the present All Progressives Congress [APC]-led government.

According to Danfulani the original power sharing formula which the people are aware of, has been: a minister comes from the Northern part of the state when the Governor is from the Southern part of the state. 

As such, the minister should ordinarily come from the southern Kaduna region, as the executive Governor of Kaduna State is from the northern part of Kaduna.

It can be recalled that the nomination of Ms Amina Mohammed drew lot of negative criticisms from Kaduna State citizens of the both part of the divide.

In an interview with Comrade Nehemiah Handan, he stated that the distortion of the original power sharing formulae in the state has indicated that the government of the day is trying the stretch the patience of the good people of Southern Kaduna.

Attached below is a copy of the Petition sent to the three Kaduna senators:

 

1. Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi,

North Kaduna Senatorial District,

2. Senator Shehu Sani,

Central Kaduna Senatorial District,

3. Senator Danjuma Tella La’ah,

South Kaduna Senatorial District,

Our Distinguished Senators,

Objection On The Nomination Of One, Amina Mohammed, As The Minister Nominee Representing Kaduna State

1. Background

Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Initiative, CEDRA, is a Kaduna-based registered human rights and good governance advocacy group. In the discharge of his constitutional duty to appoint a Federal Executive Council, President Muhammadu Buhari has submitted the list of the Minister nominees to the Nigerian Senate vide the Senate President for screening and, possibly, clearance.

Usually, the political offices in Kaduna State have always been fairly shared or distributed amongst the three (3) Senatorial Districts in line with the principles of Federal Character enshrined in section 14 (3) and (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. For instance, where the Governor comes from the North Kaduna Senatorial District, the Deputy Governor and the Ministerial slot will be zoned to South Kaduna Senatorial District. The Central Kaduna Senatorial District will then take the other key positions. 

The attention of CEDRA has been drawn to the ministerial nominee representing Kaduna State in the person of one, Amina Mohammed. We have serious objection to her nomination.

2. Our Objection

We strongly object to the nomination of the Ministerial nominee for Kaduna State, Amina Mohammed. Our objection is predicated on the fact that we have reasons to believe that she is not an indigene of Kaduna State as provided in the Constitution. She is an indigene of Gombe State. Section 147(1), (2) and (3) of the Constitution provides as follows:

“147. (1) There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President. 

“(2) Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President. 

“(3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:- 

“Provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State”. 

From the above constitutional provisions, each State of the Federation must have a Minister who must be an indigene of that State. If the nomination of Amina Mohammed is allowed by the Senators, especially, you, the Distinguished Senators from Kaduna State, the indigenes of the State will be short-changed; and this will be unconstitutional.

2. Our Prayer

 We pray that you will use your good offices to reject the nomination of the said Amina Mohammed and direct that an indigene of Kaduna State preferably from Southern Kaduna senatorial district be nominated and sent to the Senate for screening. The need to have a nominee from Southern Kaduna is very important if the power sharing formulae in the state is to be maintained and give the people a sense of belonging at the federal level. 

John Danfulani, Ph.D.

(Board Chairman, CEDRA)

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