By Emmanuel Aziken, Daniel Idonor, Chinyere Amalu & Samuel Orji:
* Face Senate screening today
ABUJA—A LIST of 25 ministerial nominees was, yesterday, delivered to the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark.
The list which includes seven from the just dissolved cabinet was delivered by Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, according to normally reliable sources in the National Assembly. It includes 18 new ministerial nominees.
The list includes Alhaji Bawa Bwari who served as Chief Whip of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2007 and two former ministers, Senator Sanusi Daggash and Adamu Maina Waziri.
A second senator from Sokoto State who was nominated, Vanguard learnt yesterday, however, did not scale through the security screening.
Senator Bala Mohammed is the leader of the National Interest Group which moved the Senate to empower Dr. Jonathan as Acting President and a new economic czar, Olusegun Aganga, who is a managing director at Goldman Sachs in London.
Some of the former ministers whose names were included are Godswill Orubebe, Adetokunbo Kayode, Odein Ajumogobia, Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke, Fidelia Njeze, Arc. Nuhu Somo Way. Some of the new names include former student activist and deputy governor of Nassarawa State, Labaran Maku, and Prof. M. K Abubakar from Kaduna.
Ahead of the Senate screening, the Acting President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was yesterday evening at a special dinner with the principal officers of the Senate. At least two principal officers confirmed yesterday that the dinner was being hosted by the Senate President.
One principal officer of the Senate said: “He is coming to meet with us on the list this evening in connection with the list.”
Vanguard learnt that the full list of ministerial nominees would be sent in batches. The Senate has, meanwhile, assured its readiness to cut back its Easter holidays to enable it devote itself to the screening. The Senate’s reassurance conveyed through Senate spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze came against the insistence by some senators that returning ministers would be judged on their performances in office.
Senator Eze said: “In anticipation of that and in fulfillment of our obligation and commitment to the people of Nigeria we cut our holiday short by one week, so instead of starting on March 26, our holiday will now start by April 2nd, so we have sacrificed one week to wait for the list and make sure we screen them as soon as they come and make sure that the Acting President has the number of ministers and the assistance that he needs to deliver on the work at hand.”
Regardless of the lobby by the Acting President for the quick approval of the list, senators are insisting that returning ministers would be judged on the performances they put up while in office.
He added: “We will not just allow to bow and go, they must be judged on what they have done.”
Women want more slots
The struggle by Nigerian women to make government live up to its commitment of giving women 30 per cent representation in decision making, has gained momentum, as they have renewed their call for more slots in the on-going new cabinet nomination.
The Nigerian Women in Politics made the call in Abuja at a one-day Public Dialogue on Political Party Regulation – Gender Perspectives organized by Gender and Affirmative Action, an initiative of Coalition for Change (C4C), funded by DFID (UK).
Speaking to newsmen shortly after the opening ceremony, the National Co-ordinator, Women’s Rights Advancement and Social Development, WRAPA, Saudatu Mahdi, said that Nigerian women want nothing less than 30 per cent representation.
She said: “We want government to fulfil its commitment of implementing 30 per cent affirmative action they are signatory to. Even Yar’Adua administration was committed to it. We have lobby group who are working on it to ensure that we are well represented.”
On the 2011 election, Mrs. Mahdi, said that to ensure that the 30 per cent affirmative action is realized in the next coming election, women leaders and civil society organizations were building a data base of women in politics at all levels of government.
THE MINISTERIAL LIST
Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke
Sen. Akinlabi Olasunkanmi
Prof. M.K. Abubakar
Navy Captain N.S. Olubolade
Eng. Chris Ogienwonyi
Alhaji Murtala Yar‘Adua
Hon. Nduese Essien
Alhaji Umaru Aliyu
Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed
Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga
Senator Bala Mohammed
Adamu Maina Waziri
Senator Sanusi Daggash
Mrs. Josephine Tapgun
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