By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu Esquire
President Bola Ahmed Tínubu yesterday substituted Dr. Maryam Shetty with Marian Yakubu Bunkure in the Kano nominees, just as he added the immediate past Minister of State for Labour and Employment in former President Muhammadu Buhari tenure, Festus Keyamo in his list of ministerial nominees.
Though the President did not give any reason for substituting the nominee from Kano, but it may not be unconnected with the political development in the State, which saw the current National chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), who was earlier nominated in the Tínubu’s cabinet, being withdrawn to become chairman of the ruling party.
The Senate also yesterday continued with its screening of nominees, as it screened five ex-governors for appointment as Ministers in the federal government cabinet, having been appointed by the President.
The ex governors screened were that of Yobe, Osun, Plateau, Kebbi and Zamfara States, including: Ibrahim Geidam, Gboyega Oyetola, Simon Lalong, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and Bello Matawalle respectively.
Others nominees screened were Tunji Alausa from Lagos, sen. Sabi Abdullahi from Niger, sen. Heineken Lokpobiri from Bayelsa, sen. Alkali Ahmed Saudi from Gombe, Yusuf Tanko Sununu from Kebbi, Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo from FCT, Ahmed Tijani Gwarzo from Kano and Shuaibu Abubakar Audu from Kogi.
During yesterday’s screening, just in line with the tradition already established by the lawmakers, about ten nominees, comprised of former senators and governors, were asked to ‘Bow and Go’, while the remaining three were asked questions regarding economy, security and other national issues.
Responding to questions on how insecurity in the country and Plateau in particular can be tackled, the immediate past Governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong, said the traditional rulers have a big role to play in addressing the challenge, arguing that a constitutional roles should be carved out for them.
He also said there is need to recruit more men into the Nigerian armed Forces, while not undermining the need for training and retraining of the officers, especially on the use of modern day technology like drones to fight insecurity.
Lalong however pointed out that in Plateau in particular, the use of guns and bullets will not address the challenge of insecurity and violence, especially given the ethno religious nature of the conflict in the area, just as he said that engaging traditional and religious leaders is the only way to build understand and give a sense of belonging to all the ethnic groups in the State.
Also speaking, a nominee from Kogi, Shuaibu Abubakar Audu, said the only way to address the forex challenge in the country is the build local capacity in manufacturing, which he said will help to earn the country more foreign exchange.
He expressed confidence that the President has the political will to initiate and encourage policies that will drive this agenda, adding that if he is confirmed as a minister, he will offer his wealth of experience to help the President achieve the objective of diversifying the economy.
Meanwhile, the screening continues today at the National Assembly, where the remaining six nominees would be screened and probably confirmed by the lawmakers.