When President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurates his cabinet on Wednesday, a group of people will stand out. They are the Alumni of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in Kaduna State.
They attended the institution at different times, but fate and Buhari has brought them together as members of the Federal Executive Council, who will execute the Next Level Agenda of the Daura, Katsina State born retired general.
The journey to Wednesday’s historical date started on July 23, 2019, when, Buhari forwarded a list of 43 nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation for appointment as ministers. Not willing to delay the screening of the long awaited nominees, the Senate immediately resolved to suspend its annual break for one week, in order to treat the list with dispatch before going on the long holiday.
However, beyond the peripheral glimpse on the ministerial list as forwarded to the apex legislative chamber for screening, Sunday Telegraph decided to take a deeper and critical look at other indices and compositions of the list. Doing this, it was observed that out of the 43 nominees, nine were nominated from the North West geopolitical zone while President Buhari allotted seven ministerial slots to the North East.
Also, the North Central, South West and South South all got equal ministerial slots of seven while only the South East geopolitical zone got the least slot of six appointees.
It is also important to note that while the North West has seven states and the largest among the six geopolitical zones of the country, the other four have six states, and only the South East has five states, a situation that has been a point of agitation for the disadvantaged region, as it seeks to get one additional state for a balance. Meanwhile, one striking issue of interest in the configuration of Buhari’s next cabinet ministers is that 13 of the 43 ministers-designate, representing 30.23 per cent are alumni of the reputed ABU.
A statistical breakdown of the number shows that four of the ministers-designate, representing 9.3 per cent who are products of the ABU, are from the Boko Haram insurgency stricken North East zone of the country.
The appointees from this zone are Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa), who is the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and Adamu Adamu (Bauchi), who is the immediate past Minister of Education.
Other ABU Alumi in the list of the recently confirmed ministerial appointees are Ambassador Maryam Katagum (Bauchi) and Mustapha Baba Shehuri, who hails from Borno State. Ambassador Katagum obtained a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and a Graduate Certificate in Education at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1976 before she proceeded to the United States of America for further studies.
Six out of the 13 ABU graduate ministers-designate, representing 13.95 per cent are of the North West extraction namely: Engr. Sulaiman Adamu (Jigawa) and Zainab Shumsuna (Kaduna), who is the immediate past Minister of Finance. Others are Sabo Nanono (Kano), Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi (Kano), Muhammadu Maigairi Dingyadi (Sokoto), and Sa’adiya (Zamfara). Further more, two of the ministers-designate representing 4.65 per cent of the total nominees are from the North Central states of Kogi and Niger in the persons of Ramatu Tijani and Ambassador Zubairu Dada, respectively. Only two of the appointees are from the Southern part of Nigeria.
One is a former Group General Manager, Crude Oil Marketing Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Goddy Jedy-Agba, from Cross Rivers State, and Sunday Akin Dare, from Oyo State. It is also important to note that there are a total of seven women among the 43 ministerial nominations made by President Buhari, and out of them, seven are products of the Ahmadu Bello University.
The three female appointees are Ambassador Maryam Katagum, Ramatu Tijani and Sa’adiya Umar Farouk. They were among the senators who were asked by the Senate to “take a bow and go” during the just concluded ministerial screening.