The All Progressives Congress (APC) needs to reassure Christians and minority ethnic groups that Nigeria is a secular state, where merit and unity rather than religion and tribe will be the basis for national development, Civil Society Groups for Good Governance (CSGGG) have said.
The President of the group Comrade Ogakwu Dominic Ogakwu said such parameters are needed for facilitating national integration, peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationships that will engender a prosperous Nigeria for all.
This is coming against the backdrop of the cacophony that greeted the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC president-elect and vice-president-elect and the need to cede the ministerial slot fir Borno State to Borno South that has consistently been abandoned in the scheme of things at the State and Federal level.
He said as Nigeria braces up for yet another democratic administration at the nation’s center and the All Progressives Congress (APC) should do the needful with respect to appointments of federal ministers, so that ethno-religious balancing and inclusion is seen to be done for critical socioeconomic development.
Speaking of the ministerial configuration he urged the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice-President-elect Kashim Shettima, to be seen to deliberately institutionalize equity, fairness and justice, so as to wean itself from the current baggage of nepotism that characterizes federal appointments in the outgoing APC government.
“It is against this backdrop of call for balancing and inclusivity, that concerned Nigerians under the aegis of coalition of civil societies, hereby throw their weight behind the appointment of a Southern Borno person as a federal minister in the incoming administration of senators Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.”
He said their position is because, for decades the southern senatorial district of Borno has suffered political inequality, injustice and exclusion in terms of state and national affairs.
“It is on record that southern Borno has suffered and continues to suffer national and State marginalization till date. “The more politically advantaged Central and Northern Borno cabal, have such a stranglehold on the political equation in the state, that they continue to hijack all political offices in the state – especially the plum job of the state governorship, which has eluded the people of Southern Borno for decades despite their aspirations and contributions.
“A cursory look at the line-up of former state governors reveals a worrisome trend of exclusion and instituted conspiracy 1979 – 1983, Mohammed Goni (North)
1983 – 1984 Ashiek Jama (Central), 1991 – 1993 Maina Ma’aji (Lawan (north) 1999 – 2003 Mala Kachala (Central)
2003 – 2011 Ali Modu Sheriff (Central) 2011 – 2019 ashim Shettima (Central)
2019 till date Babagan Zulum (North)
According to him, only two senatorial districts – Central and Northern Borno – have produced governors in the state. “Does this list reflect equity, fairness and justice in a state having three senatorial districts with Southern Borno being the most populous, educated and religiously tolerant, with evidence of peaceful coexistence between the Christians and Muslims?
“Your guess is as good as mine!
As if history has not punished the people of Southern Borno enough, the current government in the state has almost relegated southern Borno to the periphery, with lopsided appointments which are skewed in favor of Central and Northern Borno as indicated in the current political appointments in Borno state
GOVERNOR – KANURI
SPEAKER OF ASSEMBLY – KANURI
CHIEF JUDGE – KANURI
GRAND KHADI – KANURI
CHIEF OF STAFF – SHUWA
SSG – SHUWA
BOSU VC – KANURI
BOGIS – KANURI
BOSEPA – KANURI
BOSIRS – KANURI
HMB – KANURI
BOCOLIS – KANURI
CSC – KANURI
LGSC – KANURI
BOSIEC – KANURI
BORMA – KANURI
SUBEB – KANURI
BRTV – KANURI
PILGRIMS BOARD – KANURI
SHEMA – KANURI
BORNO EXPRESS – KANURI
EDUCATION TRUST FUND – KANURI
AGENCY FOR MASS LITERACY – KANURI
COLLEGE OF NURSING – KANURI
COLLEGE OF HEALTH TECHNOLOGY – KANURI
ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL – KANURI
AUDITOR-GENERAL – KANURI
RAMAT – KANURI
TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AGENCY – KANURI
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE – KANURI
APC CHAIRMAN – KANURI
“All the above-mentioned appointive and elective offices in Borno state are manned by persons of Kanuri and Shuwa extraction – all from central and northern Borno.
“However, ours is not an ethnic agitation nor a religious protest, but a ‘moralsuation.’ We are only appealing to the humanity which binds all of us and calling the good people of Central and Northern Borno, led by Vice-president-elect Kashim Shettima, to ‘be their brothers keepers’ this time, by backing a Southern Borno person for appointment as a federal minister, for balancing, inclusion and participation.
These he said are key criteria for political equity, fairness and justice.
“Considering the current political setup in the state, we are particularly calling on the president-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the charge for sociopolitical and socioeconomic integration, by appointing a person from Southern Borno as a federal minister – since they have already been schemed out of the political equation in Borno state in particular and Nigeria in general.
“Just as the current administration in the state schemed southern Borno out, they were equally not featured in federal ministerial appointments, with the current federal minister of state for Agriculture hailing from Borno Central, instead of using that ministerial appointment to compensate Borno south for their marginalization in the state.
Vice- President-elect Kashim Shettima is now the political father of all in the state, since he is about to become the vice president of everyone – not only his own people.
“As civil society, we are appealing to him to leverage on his influence in the party to mend the broken fences and build a bigger, better and more united Borno State and Nigeria, by throwing his weight behind Borno South for federal ministerial appointment, to compensate and bring them into the fold as one family.
“Considering that southern Borno is predominantly Christian and non-Kanuri, we believe that if vice-president-elect Kashim Shettima heed this ‘moralsuation’ and facilitate the inclusion of southern Borno in this federal government, it will send a strong message across the nation and the world, that the Muslim-Muslim ticket is not a prelude to religious intolerance nor a threat to Christians or other religions, but rather a government founded on equity, fairness and justice.”