The Southern Kaduna Journalists’ Forum (SKJF), a media advocacy group, has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to allocate the Kaduna State ministerial slot to Southern Kaduna for fairness and inclusive governance.
The forum made the call through its chairman, Mr Ango Bally at a news conference in Kaduna on Wednesday.
Bally said that the candidate could be any competent person, irrespective of party, or religious affiliation.
He pointed out that since the return of democracy in 1999, previous administrations had demonstrated fair distribution of appointments between the northern and southern parts of the state.
He added that a precedent had been set between 1999 to 2014 where principal political positions were shared between the northern and the southern parts.
“When the governor of the state is elected from the northern part, a ministerial appointment and Secretary to the State Government (SSG) goes to the southern part and vice versa.
“This sharing formula ensured equity, fairness, and inclusive governance.
“For example, between 2003 and 2007, the northern part of the state produced the governor, Mr Ahmed Makarfi and a minister, former Gov. Nasir El-Rufai.
“The southern part of the state produced the deputy governor, SSG and a minister, when the state was allocated two ministerial slots,” he said.
The chairman, however, said that between 2015 and 2023, the governor (El-Rufai) was from the northern part, along with the two ministers nominated from the state and the SSG.
He added that the development left the southern part with only the position of the deputy governor.
The chairman said that throughout the eight years of Gov. El-Rufai, the southern part of the state was also denied the SSG position, as against the tradition in the past.
“The situation has not changed as currently, the governor, Sen. Uba Sani is from the northern part; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Tajjudeen Abbas and the Speaker of the State Assembly are also from the northern part, including the SSG.
“In spite of this lopsided allocation of principal offices in the state in favour of the northern part, the ministerial slot allocated to the state was still reserved for El-Rufai from the northern part.
“Southern Kaduna was, therefore, left with only the deputy governor’s seat.
“It is our conviction, therefore, that since El-Rufai has declined the ministerial position, it is only fair that the slot be given to someone from the southern part.
“On this premise, we are appealing to President Bola Tinubu to consider picking El-Rufai’s replacement from Southern Kaduna for equity, fairness, and inclusion,” he said.
He expressed optimism that if Tinubu picks the minister from Southern Kaduna, it would bring the people closer to the government and in return, align their interests with the president’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
This, he added, would equally give the people of Southern Kaduna a sense of inclusion, both at the state and national levels,” Bally said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Tinubu had nominated El-Rufai for the ministerial position but was not confirmed by the Senate.
E-Rufai later declined the nomination and nominated Mr Ja’afaru Sani, a commissioner in his cabinet for the position.