Ministerial list: A big slap on the faces of Nigerian women.

As usual, those who should speak are silent and the marginalisation continues. Although many Nigerians question the competence and integrity of the nominees and I totally see their points, I have insufficient information to agree with those raising these concerns or dismiss their concerns. In view of this lack of or insufficient evidence to judge them either way, I would like to think that our law makers are better positioned to scrutinize and clear them as fit and proper or unfit and improper persons to serve us. So until next week when I understand that the screening would have been over, it is best to rest the case and believe that our lawmakers will do the needful. Not minding that I fully support Mr President as the best leader for Nigeria at this critical time, there will be no sentiments from my side if anyone on the list is rejected. It is the job of the lawmakers to ensure that only fit and competent persons serve us and our duty to respect their decisions so long as they are fair and reasonable and made with their interest of Nigeria at heart.

I am also mindful of the fact that until anyone alleged to have been involved in corrupt practices is charged and found guilty, they are innocent and must not be deprived of their rights to serve Nigeria if indeed they have the competence to do so. So although the majority including me are pointing accusing fingers at many of the nominees and other past leaders, until the state or individuals lodge complaints against them, they are investigated , charged and found guilty as accused, there is really little other than noise making that we can do if any suspected crook slips through the net.

That said given that there is a blue sea of highly competent meritorious young Nigerians who can do their jobs better if given the opportunity, I think that we would have got away with telling some of the nominees with pending complaints of corrupt practices against them to wait until they clear their names before they can be considered for those positions. Similarly, those who have been in leadership for donkey years should have also had the grace to say no and give others who are better able to serve our country the chance to do so.

The good news for me is that although the senate may clear all or majority of these people, once the investigations around them are complete and they are charged and found guilty they will be kicked out anyway. I am not aware that ex governors and ministers enjoy the same immunity as the President and sitting Governors. So there is still chance to boot them out and severely punish them for whatever they may have done. What we must do now is; stop complaining and hating one another, put our search lights on them, lodge credible not blasphemous complaints against anyone we have information that may lead to their successful civil and criminal prosecutions and reposition our country.

In respect of the ages of some of the people PMB has nominated, some people have described them as old school and from the old brigade who have been running our country down. Rightly or wrongly concerns have been raised about what this portends given PMB’s determination to fight corruption. This again is not a wrong thing to say or think about but as I said earlier someone being accused of corrupt practices and someone being found guilty of corrupt practices are two different things. Much as I also believe that older people must stay clear of leadership to make way for the younger generation, I am minded not to be seen as ageist. At the end of the day our president is not that young anymore and neither am I.

That said I would not be surprised that their selection might have to do with issues of trust and confidence. The devil you know is better than the angel you do not know saying. Additionally, if it all goes belly up he has to take responsibility for nominating and hiring them and we will be in a stronger position to question and hold him accountable. Similarly it is very conventional for people to hire members of their own parties so he has not departed from the norm.

My preoccupation if I can say is the number of women on that list. I am wondering why and if it has anything to do with him not trusting women as competent leaders for whatever reasons or because of the trail of destruction some of us who have had the opportunity to serve have left behind. If that is the case then he has made a grave mistake. These women have not done worse than any of the men he has nominated and the rest of us cannot be judged on their standards. So really and truly he needs to review the list and bring on board more women of character.

Whatever it may be Nigerian women have been short changed and we must do our best to call his attention to this injustice. We need more representation and there are many competent women who can do all the jobs without flinching. I am however consoled by the rumour that there is a supplementary list. Perhaps more women will show up there.

All that said PMB in my view is a very sharp minded guy with all sorts of games up his sleeve. So we may be crying about some of these people because we believe that appointing them while their records sort of smells and they should be under investigation, he does not intend to hire them anyway. It may be that he knows that they are all likely to cry foul and cause trouble. So instead of saying no to them ab initio, he has left it in the hands of the lawmakers who are most likely to say no. If that happens, it’s nothing to do with him and he can go on and hire hire the real people he needs. These are likely to be none politicians and clean too.

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