Kaduna-based human rights and good governance advocacy group, Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Initiative, (CEDRA), has raised objection on the nomination Amina Mohammed, as the minister nominee representing Kaduna state on ground that she is not an indigene of the state.
A statement issued yesterday in Kaduna by CEDRA Board Chairman, Dr. John Danfulani, stated that Amina Mohammed is not an indigene of Kaduna State as provided in the Constitution.
“She is an indigene of Gombe State”, the statement stressed.
The statement which was copied to senators representing the state including Senator Suleiman Oth- man Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), Senator Shehu Sani (Kaduna Central), and Senator La’ah (Kaduna South) stated that “usually, the political offices in Kaduna State have always been fairly shared or distributed amongst the three senatorial districts in line with the principles of Federal Character enshrined in Section 14 (3) and (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
CEDRA statement reads in parts “Our Distinguished Senators, in the discharge of his constitutional duty to appoint a Federal Executive Council, President Muham- madu Buhari has submitted the list of the Minister nominees to the Nigerian Senate vide the Senate President for screening and, possibly, clearance.
“Usually, the political offices in Kaduna State have always been fairly shared or distributed amongst the three Senatorial Districts in line with the principles of Federal Character enshrined in section 14 (3) and (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For instance, where the Governor comes from the North Kaduna Senatorial District, the Deputy Governor and the Ministerial slot will be zoned to South Kaduna Senatorial District. The Central Kaduna Senatorial District will then take the other key positions”.
It added that “The attention of CEDRA has been drawn to the Ministerial nominee representing Kadu- na State in the person of one Amina Mohammed. We have serious objections to her nomination”.
The group, according to statement, strongly objected to the nomination of Amina Mohammed and predicated same on the fact that they have “reasons to believe that she is not an indigene of Kaduna State as provided in the Constitution. She is an indigene of Gombe State”.
The statement stressed that Section 147(1), (2) and (3) of the Constitution provides as follows: “147. (1) There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President. (2) Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President. (3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution: Provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State”.
From the above constitutional provisions, each State of the Federation, they argued, must have a Minister who must be an indigene of that State. If the nomination of Amina Mohammed is allowed by the Senators, “especially, you, the distinguished Senators from Kadu- na State, the indigenes of the State will be short-changed; and this will be unconstitutional”.
The group prayed that the senators should use their good offices to reject the nomination of the said Amina Mohammed and direct that an indigene of Kaduna State, preferably from Southern Kaduna senatorial district, be nominated and sent to the Senate for screening.
On whether Amina’s husband is an indigene of Kaduna State, the CEDRA Board Chairman replied through an SMS “she is single. But surely from Gombe”.
– Idibia Gabriel, Kaduna