President Muhammadu Buhari single-handedly picked the candidates for ministerial positions, contrary to widespread speculation that the ministerial nominees recently presented to the Senate for confirmation by the presidency were nominated by their respective state governors.

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai made this clarification over the weekend while responding to questions during the state’s monthly Town Hall meeting held in Kaduna Central Senatorial zone held at the Kaduna International Trade Fair Complex.

Buhari, it would be recalled, sent a list of 21 ministerial nominees (one was later withdrawn) to Senate President Bukola Saraki for confirmation by the upper chamber on September 30. The president followed up on October 12 with a second list of 16 nominees, with 18 of the 36 already confirmed by the Senate.

However, Governor El-Rufai disclosed that Buhari side-stepped the political tradition followed by his predecessors where the 36 minister-nominees, representing each state of the federation, had been chosen by their respective state governors.

Governor El-Rufai, while dismissing speculations that he nominated Hajia Zainab Shamsudeen for appointment as minister by Buhari, said no governor selected any nominee for the president.

“President Buhari single-handedly nominated Zainab. No governor nominated any ministerial appointee for the president”, he declared.

The former FCT minister explained further: “Before we were elected as governors, we advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to allow any governor to nominate minister for him because if he allows that they will nominate somebody of their choice and not that of the president’s choice.

“The president heeded that advice. And there are some people who appeared on the face as APC, but right inside them they are PDP. We know those who did anti-party. And they didn’t vote for us but they went to get houses close to Buhari in Abuja for nomination.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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