The Alliance for Deepening Democracy (A4DD) has raised strong objections to President Bola Tinubu’s approach to nominating ministers, accusing him of lacking inclusiveness in the selection process. The coalition expressed deep concern over the nomination and appointment of ministers, stating that important sectors of society have been marginalized in the selection of prospective ministers. They described the confirmation hearings at the Senate as a process that fails to properly assess the suitability of the nominees.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the A4DD, a coalition of organizations working for the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria, argued that the current nomination process is unjust and inequitable. They pointed out that only about 25 percent of the 28 nominees submitted to the Senate are women, despite women constituting about half of the country’s population. Additionally, the coalition noted that there is no representation of persons with disabilities on the list, even though they make up 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 of positions reserved for women, is unacceptable and demonstrates a disregard for fairness, justice, and equity.
The coalition urged President Tinubu to correct the gender discrimination and inequity by appointing a significant percentage, if not all, of the remaining ministerial nominees to women and persons with disabilities.
The A4DD also criticized the practice of submitting names of prospective ministers to the Senate without indicating the portfolios they will be assigned. They argued that this approach hinders the Senate’s ability to assess the competence and qualifications of the nominees for the positions they will ultimately occupy.
Mr. Edetaen Ojo, the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Alliance and Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA), expressed deep concern about the current system of appointing ministers. He highlighted the lack of debate regarding the qualifications of the nominees and stressed that the process should focus on the greater good and the competence of the individuals appointed.
The coalition expressed dismay at the ongoing confirmation hearings in the Senate, where nominees are simply asked to “take a bow” without thorough scrutiny of their qualifications.
The Alliance called on President Tinubu and the Senate to urgently reform the process of nominating, vetting, and appointing ministers to address these shortcomings and ensure a more inclusive and transparent approach.