Ministerial Appointment: 'Tinubu Discriminated Against South-East - Stakeholders

Ministerial Appointment: Tinubu Discriminated Against South-East – Stakeholders

6 mins read

By Ugochi Okoro

Reactions from South-East stakeholders have continued to trail President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial appointments from the region.

They said President Tinubu discriminated against people of South-East in his appointment of ministers for his cabinet from the region.

The President on 21st August 2023, inaugurated the newly appointed ministers to form his cabinet.

Out of the 45 ministers, five positions were given to the South-East region which generated reactions among the stakeholders.

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The ministers appointed from the South-East are Mrs. Nkiruka Onyejeocha Minister of State, Labour and Employment; Mrs. Uju Kennedy Ohanenye, Minister of Women Affairs; Engr David Umahi, Minister of Works; Uche Nnaji, Minister of Innovation Science and Technology; and Mrs. Doris Nkiruka Uzoke-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.


Tinubu’s Ministerial Appointment Based On Loyalty Not Competence – Uwazurike

Reacting to the appointment, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, former President of Aka Ikenga, an Igbo socio-cultural Organisation, said Tinubu’s ministerial appointment reflects total discrimination against South-East people as some other geopolitical zones got more ministerial appointments.

He said what Tinubu did in the South-East was simply to meet the one state one minister requirement.

Chief Uwazurike said Ndigbo had the chance of presenting the best to the Federal Government but it sacrificed competence on the altar of loyalty.

“I think there is a prejudice against Ndigbo, that’s the raw truth. In appointing ministers from the South-East, he complied with the one state one minister requirement but ignored it in other ones he did. Some states got nine some got ten and what we got as a zone is five. In simple language, he believes that people who are competent and loyal are not in the South-East, so, it is a blatant discrimination against Ndigbo.”

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Uwazurike, the current president of Cultural Credibility Group, said that with the manner of the appointment, he expects nothing in terms of development from the ministers, arguing that whatever they would want to do is subject to the president’s approval.

Speaking also on the appointment of Engr. David Umahi as the Minister of Works, he said a minister is subject to the head of State, and whatever the president approves goes no matter how good one thinks the minister is, adding that former governor of Lagos State Mr. Babatunde Fashola who did well as a governor for eight years, was “a disaster as a minister of works.”

“It is the president that determines what money should released and where and how and to whom. As far I am concerned, the credentials are not there. A minister represents a particular state and carries the people along and to worsen the matter Tinubu did not promise the South-East anything during his campaign so no much expectation from the president,” Uwazurike added.

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Speaking also to our correspondent the Ohaneze Ndigbo Publicity Secretary Chief Alex Ogbonna said Ohaneze Ndigbo has made their positions known through their President-General, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, and that they are not happy about the number of ministers allocated to the South-East.

According to him, “other zones got more than what was given to the Southeast. We cannot be shortchanged because of the number of states we have. Many Southeasterners supported Tinubu and Southeast has two strong APC states that is Imo and Ebonyi unlike other states in the South-South.”

Speaking on their expectations from the newly appointed ministers Chief Ogbonna said he is optimistic that Engr. Umahi, as Minister of Works would do well judging from his performances in terms of infrastructural development in his state of Ebonyi when he was governor for eight years.

“Umahi already has a reputation for construction of physical infrastructure in his state. He has shown expertise in the field of engineering, so, he is like a square peg in a square hole.”

Recall that Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide had earlier issued a statement demanding justice, fairness and equity in President Tinubu’s ministerial appointments.

The president of the apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu in a statement released in Enugu on Thursday, 10 August, kicked against appointing only five ministers from the South-East while other zones had up to 10

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He said: “Ohanaeze Ndigbo feels that it is unfair and unjust as they believe in one united Nigeria which can only be achieved in an atmosphere of fairness, justice and equity.

“We therefore, demand justice, fairness and equity for every ethnic group in Nigeria including the Igbo.”

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Ugochi Okoro
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