- Category: Politics
- Published on Saturday, 14 May 2011 21:12
- Written by Admin
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Determined to put in place an efficient cabinet, President Goodluck Jonathan has decided to put all recommended nominees on equal footing.
He has directed the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party governors to submit their nominees through the National Secretariat of the party, a decision many governors are uncomfortable with. Until now, governors sent the list of nominees for ministers to the President-elect without any input from either the states or national executives of the PDP.
Investigation by our correspondent showed that many governors trying to forward the list of their ministerial nominees directly to the Presidential Villa were shocked when directed to route same through the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It was learnt that the President took the step to avoid undue pressure from the governors and place all nominees on the same benchmark.
A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said: "The era of imposition of ministerial nominees by governors is gone. Most of the governors, who attempted to send their list directly to the Presidential Villa, have been directed to route their list through the party.
"This development shocked most of the governors. In fact, a Northern governor had tried to manouevre his way to send his list of nominees to the President but he met a brick wall as he was directed to go to the PDP National Secretariat.
"The governors have not been happy that they have to go through the party leadership. But in a democracy, this is how it should be.
"This time around, the President is trying to be as transparent as possible and place all nominees on equal footing. So, the screening of all nominees will be strict from the short-listing stage.
"Some of the outgoing governors are still trying to impose their stooges as ministers. But everything will be based on merit and the ability of nominees to work with the President to meet up with his pledges.
"And you know, the President is not bound to accept the governors’ nominees. This is the message the President is trying to pass to the governors. Their recommendations will be considered alongside those of other stakeholders in the party.
"As long as the President meets the constitutional requirements on ministerial appointment, he does not owe the governors automatic obligation on any nominee."
Jonathan had last week served his ministers quit notice and might dissolve the cabinet on May 25.
Most of the governors have started clearing their desks and finalising crucial memos.
The development has increased the jostle for ministerial slots.
Section 147 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the President to constitute his cabinet.
The Section reads in part: "There shall be such offices of ministers of the government of the federation as may be established by the President.
"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,
"Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of Section14(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."
Meanwhile, there were indications yesterday that the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, may step aside in line with the zoning formula approved by the leadership and National Caucus of the PDP.
The zoning formula is as follows: President (South-South); Vice-President (North-West); Senate President (North Central); Speaker (South-West); Deputy Senate President (South-East); Deputy Speaker (North-East); National Chairman (North East); SGF (South-East); Senate Leader (South-West); House Leader (South-South); Senate Chief Whip (North-West); and the House Chief Whip (South-East).
With the formula, it was learnt that the party leaders on Tuesday felt it is impossible for the National Chairman of the party, Haliru Mohammed Bello to come from the North-East and the National Secretary from the North-Central.
A southerner may emerge as the National Secretary, but which of the three geopolitical t zones in the South is yet to be determined as at press time.
According to findings, Baraje may be given a ministerial slot as an "appreciation for his sacrifice".
A Presidency source added: "The National Secretary may have to quit for a southerner as part of power balancing in the party.
"I think the President has made up his mind to give him a ministerial slot on merit. He has been an efficient and hard-working National Secretary. He is also a team player.
"I think the President has put Baraje in confidence on why he has to leave the party office. Jonathan loves him but we cannot sideline the zoning formula." (The Nation)