Former senator representing Kaduna Central in the Red Chamber, Shehu Sani, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari not to exclude any part of the country in consideration for key cabinet positions.
Shehu Sani, speaking to newsmen in Minna on Saturday following a key note address at a one-day youth awareness forum, “Niger Open Forum”, organised by The Blue Revolutionaries (TBR), warned that any political exclusion would amount to “simply feeding the anarchy, feeding the secessionists, feeding the merchant of crisis in this country.”
According to the former senator, “If you exclude the East or the South South part of the country, or even the north central part of Nigeria because they didn’t vote for you, you are simply feeding the anarchy, feeding the secessionists, feeding the merchant of crisis in this country.
“It is expected that when you win election, you are for everybody. We have a pattern in this country where people are excluded and marginalised out of government on the basis that their ethnic or religious group did not vote for the government in power; that is a very dangerous thing to do.
“After election you need a country to rule, so that is my view on that,” he submitted.
He also warned that it would amount to laying a land mine if there is any attempt to deny the South the Presidency in 2023, saying that the North has had its fair share of federal leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“My own position is that the North has had its own fair share of leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari. Anybody who is saying power should remain in the North even after Buhari, is simply laying a land mine for the destruction of our country.”
Shehu Sani’s warning is not unconnected to recent media reports credited to the Chairman of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Mallam Shettima Yerima, that the North will still produce the presidency in 2023.
Although Shehu Sani said it is “too premature” to start talking about who succeeds Buhari in 2023, he reminded those with such insinuations that what keeps a nation together is equity and fairness, adding that “we should understand that it is not simply about winning elections that keeps a nation, it about being able to stabilise and balance all the forces.”
On the delay in the appointment of ministers and other key appointments, Shehu said: “I think he should not repeat the mistake of 2015; the most important thing for him now is to pick his cabinet immediately and hit the ground running.
“There should be no excuses again over failure to perform in the sense that he now has all the ample opportunity.”
He commended President Buhari for his decision not to consult state governors before picking his ministers, adding that “experience has shown that state governors don’t send names of competent people; they send their loyalists and they send people who are not going to say anything to them and who are not going to out shine them.
“Unfortunately, they don’t own up to failures of the kinds of people they send, so the president should form a cabinet of people who are capable, competent and patriotic.
“The report I’m hearing that he is going to appoint his ministers based on merit and not recommendation from the state governor is quite commendable. This is because he has a legacy to leave behind, because when things go wrong it is about Muhammadu Buhari, and if it goes right is about Muhammadu Buhari.
“I am happy with that decision because if no governor consults the president before appointing his commissioners, then there should be no compulsion for the president to consult any governor before appointing his ministers,” Shehu said.