By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Former Anambra State Governor, Senator Chris Ngige has said it was wrong for anyone to refer to President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial nominees as pushovers.
Ngige who spoke to the State House Correspondents after a private meeting with president May Mohammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, yesterday also stated that the nominees when confirmed by the senate and assigned portfolios would help the president realize the “change” agenda of the president government of All progressives Congress, APC.
He said: “If you look at the list very critically, you will observe Mr President wants to go his voyage with people who have cognate experience in governance. When I mean cognate experience, we are talking of people who have been tested, tried and trusted by their various people.
So, I don’t think Nigerians should expect anything less than what Mr President is already doing from that team. The team will help Mr. President to deliver on most of the promises he made to Nigerian people, in fact, much more quicker than is even envisaged because I don’t think there is anybody on that list that you can call a pushover in terms of government business.”
Ngige who is one if the nominees also refuted that the ministerial list had an “analogue” nominee on it.
“Am I analogue? Don’t let Anambra people hear hear that you called me analogue. I am digital and I don’t know who is analogue on that list”, he said.
Reacting on why portfolios were not attached to the names already sent to the senate, Ngigie stated that the Nigerian constitution did not stipulate such.
“The Constitution does not say you must attach portfolio. The Constitution just prescribed that those to be appointed as ministers must have qualifications that will enable them to be members of the House of Representatives.
“That is the minimum and you know that the age of the House of Representatives is lower than that of the Senate and the educational qualifications as enshrined in the Constitution.
“There is nothing there about not attaching portfolios. The other area of the Constitution is that each state should produce a minister. The President is taking it slowly according to his words. When people say he is “Baba-go-slow” he said yes yes that he will go slow and steadily and steadily we shall get there.
“In other climes like America and other developed world, they attach portfolios and that is what their constitution say”, he said.
Speaking on the screening criteria that would be adopted by the senate, the former senator said that the red chamber as populated by people of integrity would not adopt any method contrary to the constitutional dictates.
“Why should I be bothered? The Senate is populated by elderstatesmen and women and what they say they would do is in conformity with the laws of the land.
“That they would use constitutional requirements which I just mentioned to you now; and they would also use Senate rules and they also say they would use tradition: bow and go which is a tradition”, he explained.