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Aduda, Melaye protest against exclusion of FCT from ministerial list

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[FILE] Senator Dino Melaye (PDP – Kogi West) PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/DINO MELAYE

A representative of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Senate, Philip Aduda, yesterday protested against the exclusion of FCT in the ministerial list citing constitutional provision that confers the status of a state on it.

Speaking in the same vein, representative of Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye supported Aduda, quoting relevant sections of the constitution that crystalises his position that the FCT was entitled to a ministerial slot.

Raising a constitutional point of order at the beginning of plenary, Aduda noted that excluding Abuja from the nominations was against the constitution, describing the development as unconstitutional.

He argued that the National Assembly was like the House of Assembly for the FCT and that his constituents were angry over the exclusion, adding, “The constitution stipulates that the FCT should be treated as one of the states and each state shall have a minister.”

Melaye cited section 297 of the constitution, which stipulates that there shall be a Federal Capital Territory, Abuja the boundaries of which are defined in path 2 of the first schedule of the constitution.

Responding, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, said the order was noted, adding that he believes the executive have noted it as well after which the lawmakers settled down for a screening of the first nominee, Uchechukwu Ogah.

Also, former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, described the ministerial list sent to the Senate as a huge disappointment to Nigerians.

Frank, however, asked the Senate to prove that the Ninth Assembly was not a rubber stamp by rejecting between 70 and 80 per cent of the nominees based on their record in public service.

Besides, the Yoruba Youth Socio-cultural Association (YYSA) worldwide and YIAGA Africa have decried exclusion of youths from ministerial list, describing the development as disappointing.

They stated this in a statement issued in Ibadan by YYSA National President, Olalekan Hammed and Executive Director of YIAGRA Africa, Samson Itodo.

The groups said failure to appoint young Nigerians of 40 years old and below to be part of the cabinet was disturbing and unacceptable.

However, some APC leaders in Enugu State have applauded the nomination of former Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama for reappointment as a minister by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the decision as “one of the most appropriate”.

The leaders are former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, Nigeria’s Ambassador to India, Maj. Gen. Chris Eze (rtd.), former Secretary to Enugu State Government, Onyemuche Nnamani, Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, George Ogara, Ben Eche and Ada Ogbu.

They said Onyeama’s nomination showed that the President had confidence in Onyeama, having worked with him during his first term.

Also, a former Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Reps), Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila, commended President Buhari for nominating Alhaji Sabo Nanono and Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd.) as ministerial nominees from Kano State.

Kawu, a former Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, said their nomination was in line with the wishes of Kano people.

Meanwhile, some aggrieved supporters of APC in Ondo State have urged President Buhari to withdraw the nomination of Tayo Alasoadura, as a minister representing the state.

Speaking under the aegis of Ondo APC Solidarity Group, Gbenga Bojuwomi in a statement asked the President to replace him with an APC loyalist whose love cuts across the state.

This comes as the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi Ajagungbade III commended Buhari for nominating Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Sunday Dare, for a ministerial slot.

Also, immediate past Governor and the Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has lauded Buhari for the choice of Dare as a ministerial nominee from Oyo State.

The former Governor who spoke yesterday also commended the President on the ministerial nominees, describing them as “quality choice,” considering their experience and pedigree.

He described Dare as an eminently qualified individual who has contributed immensely to the fortunes of the party and the country.


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