BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Deputy Political Editor
BEFORE independence and six years after, Nigeria used to be a true federal state where the federating units contributed to the well-being of the centre or Federal Government. The federating units were economically strong and vibrant and the centre depended on them for survival.
Practically, there was little or nothing to be shared at the centre. Some founders preferred service at the regional level than at the centre. It was thus easier for the former Premier of Northern Region, late Sir Ahmadu Bello to choose to remain as a premier in the North and ‘send’ his lieutenants to the centre.
However, long years of misrule kick-started by the military in 1966 during which leaders got fatter at the expense of the citizenry has reduced Nigeria to ‘a national cake’ meant to be shared. Ever since, there has always been a rat-race among the elite in the six geo-political zones of the country to grab the lion’s share of the ‘cake’ in terms of appointments.
Given the plurarity and diversity of the country, the law books provide for equity and representativeness (federal character) in how the appointments should be distributed (shared).
Indeed, during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s first tenure, late Internal Affairs Minister, Chief Sunday Afolabi, berated late Chief Bola Ige, his counterpart then manning the Justice Ministry, for criticising the government instead of shutting his mouth because Ige “was invited to come and chop.”
A peep into appointments made by President Goodluck Jonathan and others he inherited reveals shocking discoveries: there is inequity in the sharing of positions; the South-West and North-East geo-political zones have no one among the 10 top positions in the country; out of 154 top slots, women only account for 21 or 13.64 per cent; the North-West commands the lion share; and overall, the South-East geo-political trails the other five zones.
Composition of cabinet
Of President Jonathan’s 42 ministers, there are only 12 women compared to 30 men. The North has 22 ministers to the South’s 20. The South-East produced only five ministers. North-West and South-South top the ladder with eight ministers each while South-West, North-East and North-Central each has seven ministers.
A further breakdown shows that the South-South, where the President hails from and which produced the Majority Leader of the Senate, superintends over seven ministries – Finance & Economy, Works, Petroleum, Niger Delta Affairs, Science & Technology, Culture & Tourism and Lands & Housing.
The North-West, which produced the Vice President, Chief Justice of Nigeria and Speaker of the House of Representatives is in charge of six ministries -Defence, Mines & Steel Development, National Planning, Education, Environment and Sports.
On their heels is the North-Central, which in addition to producing the Senate President and President of the Court of Appeal, oversees five ministries such as Interior, Justice, Youth Development, Information & Communication and Water Resources.
The South-West, which produced Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, is in-charge of five ministries, namely: Foreign Affairs, Trade & Investment, Police Affairs, Agriculture & Natural Resources and Communication Technology.
The South-East produced four core ministers – Labour, Aviation, Health and Power in addition to having the Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
In like manner, the North-East produced only three core ministers – Transport, FCT and Women Affairs.
The North-West and South-South also led the park in appointments into top positions such as service chiefs and leading government agencies with nine slots each. The South-East has eight; North-Central, seven; South-West five; and North-East, two. Figuratively, out of 865 top positions, North-West has 218 (25%); North-Central cornered 154 (17.80%), North-East, 139 or 16.07 %; South-South, 158 (18.27%), South-West, 167 or 19.31%; and South-East, 123 slots (14.22 %).
In terms of gender, women are highly disfavoured. There are only 12 (28.57 per cent) female ministers out of which only eight are supervising ministers. Out of 154 top slots including governors and deputy governors, women only account for 21 or 13.64 per cent, a far cry from the internationally stipulated 30 per cent affirmative action. There is no female governor. Women currently produced three deputy governors.
No southern FCT
minister in 32 years
Looking at the appointments, a major observation is the Northern monopoly of the FCT in the last 32 years. No southerner has headed FCT Ministry in the last 32 years after Chief Mobolaji Ajose Adeogun, a southwesterner and the first appointee, vacated the position in 1979.
Founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, recently urged the government to redress the flaw.
He specifically picked holes in the North’s monopoly of the FCT Ministry, noting that
Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution made it incumbent on the President to ensure that his appointments reflect federal character and promote national unity.
The section states: “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty,thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
A peep into 11 topmost slots
1. Dr Goodluck Jonathan, President,
2. Arch. Namadi Sambo,
Vice President, Kaduna, North-West
3. Senator David Mark, Senate President, Benue, North-Central
4. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Jigawa, North-West
5. Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, House of Reps Speaker, Sokoto, North-West
6. Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, Enugu, South-East
7. Justice Dalhatu Adamu, President Court of Appeal, Niger, North-Central
8. Chief Emeka Ihedioha, Deputy Speaker House of Reps, Imo, South-East
9. Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, SGF, Ebonyi, South-East
10. Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, Senate Majority Leader, C/River, S/South
11. Hon Mulikat Adeola Akande, House Majority Leader, Oyo, South-West
12. Barrister Emeka Wogu, Labour, Abia, South-East
13. Hajia Zainab Maina, Women Affairs, Adamawa, North-East
14. Professor Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, Science & Tech, Akwa Ibom, South- South
15. Mrs Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, Avia tion, Anambra, South-East
16. Senator Bala Mohammed, FCT, Bauchi, North-East
17. Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum, Bayelsa, South-South
18. Comrade Abba Moro, Interior, Benue, North- Central
19. Elder Godsday Orubebe, Niger Delta Affairs, Delta, South-South
20. Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, Health, Ebonyi, South-East
21. Arch. Mike Onolememen, Works, Edo, South-South
22. Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade (rtd), Police Affairs, Ekiti, South-West
23. Professor Barth Nnaji, Power, Enugu, South- East
24. Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, Sports, Sokoto, North-West
25. Professor Ruqayatu Rufai, Education, Jiga wa, North-West
26. Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, National Planning, Kano, North-West
27. Arch. Mohammed Musa Sada, Mines & Steel Devt, Katsina, North-West
28. Dr. Bello Mohammed, Defence, Kebbi, North-West
29. Mr. Mohammed B. Adoke (SAN), AGF/ Justice, Kogi, North-Central
30. Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Youth Devt, Kwara, North-Central
31. Mr. Olusegun O. Aganga, Trade & Investment, Lagos, South-West
32. Mr. Labaran Maku, Information & Comm, Nasarawa, North-Central
33. Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru, Foreign Affairs, Ogun, South-West
34. Senator Idris A Umar, Transport, Gombe, North-East
35. Omobola Johnson Olubusola, Communica tion Tech, Ondo, South-West
36. Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance & Economy, Delta, South-South
37. Edem Duke, Culture&Tourism, Cross River, South-South
38. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafa, Environment, Kaduna, North-West
39. Ama Pepple, Lands and Housing, Rivers, South-South
40. Akinwunmi Ayo Adesina, Agric & Natural Resources, Ogun, South-West
41. Sarah Reng Ochekpe, Water Resources, Plateau, North-Central
MINISTERS OF STATE
42. Hajia Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, Niger Delta Affairs, Niger, North-Central
43. Alhaji Bukar Tijani, Agric & Natural Resources, Borno, North-East
44. Professor Viola Onwuliri, Foreign Affairs (I), Imo, South-East
45. Dr. Samuel Ioraer Ortom, Trade & Invest ment, Benue, North-Central
46. Erelu Olusola Obada, Defence, Osun, South- West
47. Mrs. Olajumoke Akinjide, FCT, Oyo, South- West
48. Yerima Lawal Ngama, Finance, Yobe, North-East
49. Dr. Yerima Lawal Ngama, Finance, Yobe, North-East
50. Amb. Bashir Yugudu, Works, Zamfara, North-West
51. Nurudeen Mohammed, Foreign Affairs ( II), Jigawa, North-West
52. Nyesom Wike, Education, Rivers, South- South
53. Mohammed Pate, Health, Bauchi, North- East
OTHER TOP POSTS
54. Air Chief Oluseyi Petinrin, Chief of Defence Staff, Osun, South-West
55. Lt Gen Onyeabo Azubuike Ihejirika,Chief of Army Staff, Abia, South-East
56. Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, Chief of Air Staff, Kano, North-West
57. Vice-Admiral Ola Ibrahim, Chief of Naval Staff, Kwara, North-Central
58. Hafiz Abubakar Ringim, Inspector-Gener al of Police, Jigawa, North-West
59. Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, Director-General, SSS, Cross River, South-South
60. Mrs Rosemary Chinyere Uzoma, CG, Immigration, Abia, South-East
61 Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, CG, Customs, Katsina, North-West
62. Mr. Olusola Ogundipe, CG Prisons, Ogun, South-West
63. Alhaji Isa Bello Sali, Head of Service, Adamawa, North-East
64. Gen. Andrew Azazi, NSA to Jonathan, Bayelsa, South-South
65. Malam Lamido Sanusi, CBN Governor, Kano, North-West
66. Mr Austen Oniwon, NNPC GMD, Kogi, North-Central
67. Andrew Obaji, Director, DPR, Delta, South-South
68. Engr Goody Chike Egbuji, Secretary, PPPRA, Enugu, South-East
69. Mr Rabe Darma, Secretary, PTDF, Kano, North-West
70. Mrs Adefunke Kasali, Secretary, PEF, Ogun, South-West
71. Mr. Samuel Orkura, Auditor-General of the Federation, Benue, North-Central
72. Mrs Farida Waziri, Chairman, EFCC, Benue, North-Central
73. Mr Elias N Mbam, Chairman, RMAFC, South-East
74 Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, INEC, Kebbi, North-West
75. Chief Anthony Anenih, Chairman NPA, Edo, South-South
76. Mr Francis Elechi, Chairman, ICPC, Rivers, South-South
77. Engr, Emeka Eze, DG, BPP, South-East 78. Mrs Bolanle Onagoruwa, DG, BPE, Ogun, South-West
79. Femi Ajayi DG, NDLEA, Kwara, North- Central
80. Alhaji Muktar Tafawa-Balewa, Chairman, NAPEP, Bauchi, North-East
81: Dr. Eugene Juwah, Vice Chairman, NCC, Delta, South-South
82. Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui–Okauru, Chair man, FIRS, Delta, South-South