The Alliance for Deepening Democracy (A4DD) has raised serious concerns regarding the ongoing nomination and appointment of ministers in Nigeria, accusing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of marginalizing crucial sectors of society in his selection process.
The coalition, comprising organizations from diverse sectors working collaboratively for the consolidation of democracy, expressed deep regret over the lack of representation for women and persons with disabilities in the list of prospective ministers submitted to the Senate for screening.
In a statement released today, the A4DD highlighted the glaring disparity in the number of women nominees, which constitutes only about 25 percent of the 28 names submitted to the Senate. Additionally, they pointed out the complete absence of individuals with disabilities, despite constituting approximately 15 percent of the country’s population.
The Alliance condemned President Tinubu’s disregard for the National Gender Policy, which stipulates a minimum of 35 percent representation for women in government positions, describing it as a blatant disregard for fairness, justice, and equity.
Calling for corrective action, the Alliance emphasized that the process of appointing ministers provides a unique opportunity for the President to address gender discrimination and inequity in the government’s overall composition. Instead, they expressed dismay that President Tinubu had perpetuated injustice in the constitution of his cabinet.
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Alliance and Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), expressed deep concern over the absence of debates regarding the qualifications and competencies of the ministerial nominees. He criticized the practice of not indicating the portfolios to be assigned to them, asserting that it impedes the Senate’s ability to assess the suitability of the nominees for their respective positions.
The Alliance further criticized the ongoing confirmation hearings in the Senate, where political colleagues, cronies, and associates of the President are merely asked to “take a bow” without proper vetting. They stressed that such a process fails to serve the interests of citizens and hinders transparency in governance.
Urging the President and the Senate to reform the process of nominating, vetting, and appointing ministers, the A4DD called for immediate action to rectify these shortcomings and ensure more inclusive and competent governance for the nation.