A Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the appointments of MOSLEMS as ministers of Interior and Defence in a heterogeneous and multireligious society like Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari since winning elections for two consecutive tenures. HURIWA described concentration of the Defence appointments in one religion as breaching section 42(1) of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination.
The Rights group said the expectations of most Nigerians was that the President Muhammadu Buhari would Correct the deliberate scheming out of Christians from the control of Defence related and national security positions in his second and final tenure but expressed shock that he has repeated the mistake of his first tenure.
HURIWA in a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf also condemned the domination of juicy offices by the Northern Nigeria to the exclusion of the South just as the Rights group wondered why Abia and Imo produced only ministers of State whereas the North West specifically cornered the 75% of first class cabinet level appointments.
On the positive note the group commended the President for appointing a young man Mr. Sunday Dare to head the ministry of youth and Sports and for creating a ministry for HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS.
HURIWA reacted to the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council for the final tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as follows: “The action of Mr. President today in inaugurating the Federal cabinet even though it is late because he has been sworn in since May and it has taken him ages to set up his cabinet is good.
Mr President has also told his ministers that they would work within a time line and a time frame plus milestones on what they should achieve. In as much as we are displeased that it took ages for him to set up his cabinet but we are happy that if Mr president should strictly adhere by his own avowed commitment to deliver the goals of his Second and last tenure as the president of Nigeria in a very massive way, it will create positive impact and it will lift a lot of Nigerians from poverty in real time not talking about political concept.
If the cabinet will follow the milestone set for them and if Mr President will not unduly tolerate laziness on the part of his ministers like he did in the last four years. He tolerated a lot of incompetent, inefficient, ineffective, lazy and ruthlessly uncommitted and unpatriotic persons as ministers, and he spent and wasted public resources keeping those lazy people in offices for four years which is a very bad investment.
Mr President should sack any minister that doesn’t meet the milestone set for them.
Mr President should publish those milestone so that he won’t be the only person that knows them because ministers are not his own ministers, rather thay are for Nigerians. Mr President should state clearly what are his expectations from these ministers and the ministers for states.
Mr President should create an enabling environment for credible NGOs that operate in Nigeria to monitor the activities of this ministers.
We applaud Mr president for creating a special ministry for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, but the creation of that ministry shows it is a vote of no confidence on NEMA but we want the president to consider that and he should downgrade NEMA.
NEMA should just be a department within that ministry because NEMA is not really working, or NEMA should be fundamentally overhauled and reformed.
The president should appoint a much more robust and competent person to head NEMA because NEMA’ impact is not felt by victims of disasters apart from the people of Borno State. States like Kogi, Imo, Delta, that are prone to flood don’t see NEMA helping them to overcome the situation. So it is good that Mr president should implement a very giant step to tell Nigerians that he is committed in tackling various disasters in the country is a commendable step.
Also Nigerians should keep their eyes open and watch these ministers and to make sure they perform.
Secondly, Mr President should abolish the ministry of women affairs for ministry for family and children affairs. Ministry for women affairs has no relevance, it has never worked, it has never promoted the interest of even the women themselves and Mr president should think of how to compensate Nigerian women because the composition of his cabinet is grossly inadequate in terms of women representation.
And even the youths are not there apart from one person in his cabinet who can be considered as a youth; the man from IMO state. every other persons in his cabinet are in their 60s or 70s which is quite unfortunate. And the one in Sports is also young.
Nigeria has a population of over 60% youths and at least 60 % of the population of Nigerians are women and girls, so the women should be properly considered in the cabinet.
Mr President should use the composition of the governing boards of agencies to correct the mistake he has made and give most of the strategic agencies to be headed by women.
Mr President should not continue the political game of appointing only card carrying members of APC. The card carrying members of APC are not the only people that voted for him. If it were for the only card carrying members to vote for him he cannot even win the councillorship, so appointing only the card carrying members of APC does not make sense.
Mr president must be a president of Nigeria not a president of APC and he must be a statesman especially now that he is ruling for the last tenure. He should leave a legacy of commitment to service and patriotism.
We are not happy that most of the cabinet appointments are cornered to the northwest. The northwest cornered virtually 50% of the juicy ministries and all of them are senior ministers and he just gave IMO and Abia a minister for states. Is unfair because the Igbo population in Nigeria is not less than 50million and constitutionally either people vote for you or not, you must appoint one minister From each state of the federation.
Why will Mr President try to repeat the mistake of his first term where he concentrates all his appointments to Muslims? Where he has minister of defence, all those heading departments as service chiefs, national security adviser, NIA, DSS, Custom, Immigration, Prison, all Muslims which is quite unfortunate. Mr President should not repeat the mistakes he made again unless he is not prepared to bequeath his legacy of statesmanship and patriotism to Nigerians. Unless he is prepared to remain a regional leader of the north when he leaves Office.”