President Buhari’s new cabinet and the looming National Assembly strike
Welcome to July, which begins the second half of 2019. The seventh month of the year, which is considered by many as the month of perfection; will indeed bring good tidings for Nigerians. Unlike in 2015 where the Buhari led government took almost six (6) months after inauguration to name its cabinet ministers; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha recently revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari will announce his cabinet this month (July).
According to his statement, the naming of the cabinet members will take place after the lawmakers (National Assembly) return from recess. However, he did not mention the exact date but said the president will submit his list of ministers to the National Assembly within July. He also noted the uniqueness of the Nigerian system stating that the executive system denies members of parliament opportunity to become ministers except they resign from parliament.
The National Assembly is currently in the process of structuring its leadership; and will resume from recess on July 2, 2019. Due to the pack of events that have taken place after the inauguration of the President on May 29, 2019; like the June 12 democracy celebration, only a part of the National assembly leadership have emerged. The other part will emerge after the lawmakers return from recess (July 2, 2019). Asides the Senate President and Deputy, the Speaker and his Deputy; other principal officers like the Majority and Minority Leaders have not been selected. The National Assembly will need to approve the president’s ministerial list and they can not do so; if their leadership does not emerge.
How sure are we that we won’t wait for another six (6) months.
There are also some counter opinions that there will be a delay in the submission and approval of the ministerial list; as senators are threatening to stay away from the National Assembly because of unpaid allowances.
Findings show that, even after two(2) of inaugurating members of the Senate and House of Representatives; the National Assembly Commission is yet to pay allowances and entitlements to the legislators; and as such they are finding it difficult to settle down. Majority of the members of the Ninth National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) are first timers and will have to move to and live in Abuja.
Precisely in the Senate House, out of the 109-member Senate, only 43 (39%) are returning senators; the remaining 66 (71%) are coming into the Red Chambers for the first time. In the House of Representatives, 199 (55%) are returning Green Chamber lawmakers while 165 (45%) are first timers.
However, another report suggests that the delay in properly constituting both chambers is the reason for the unpaid allowances.
The Federal government is not alone in the lack of cabinet members. Governors like Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Ben Ayade (Cross River), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) have not also properly constituted their executive councils even after a month of assuming office.
Similarly, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) have only appointed Head of Service, Secretary to the State Government and Chief Press Secretary While Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), currently have only two(2) executive council members which are; Dr. Zaccheus Adango (Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice) and Isaac Kamalu (Commissioner of Finance).
What is your take on this issue?
Will we see the re-occurrence of the 2015 happenings?
Do well to share your opinion via the Comment Box.