The Alliance for Deepening Democracy (A4DD) has expressed strong disapproval of President Bola Tinubu’s approach to nominating ministers, accusing him of lacking inclusiveness in the selection process. The coalition, comprised of organizations working towards strengthening democracy in Nigeria, raised concerns over the marginalization of important sectors in the nomination and appointment of ministers.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the A4DD highlighted the lack of representation for women and persons with disabilities in the list of prospective ministers submitted to the Senate for screening. The coalition pointed out that women represent about half of the country’s population, yet only about 25 percent of the 28 nominees are women, and no one with a disability is included, despite this group comprising about 15 percent of the population.
The Alliance emphasized that President Tinubu’s failure to adhere to the National Gender Policy, which stipulates a minimum of 35 percent reserved positions for women, is unjust and demonstrates a disregard for fairness, justice, and equity.
Furthermore, the coalition criticized the practice of submitting names of ministerial nominees to the Senate without indicating the portfolios to be assigned to them. This approach, according to the A4DD, hampers transparency and prevents the Senate from thoroughly assessing the qualifications and competence of the nominees for their designated roles.
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, the Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda and Chair of the Alliance’s Steering Committee, expressed concern about the lack of debate on the qualifications and suitability of the nominees for their respective positions, leading to what appears to be a reliance on political loyalty and patronage.
The coalition also expressed disappointment with the ongoing confirmation hearings in the Senate, where nominees are simply asked to “take a bow” without comprehensive scrutiny of their capabilities and qualifications.
The A4DD called on President Tinubu and the Senate to urgently reform the ministerial nomination and appointment process to ensure inclusivity, competence, and transparency. The coalition stressed the importance of considering the greater good of the nation and the interest of citizens in the selection of ministers.