The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, has explained why he called for the removal of a nominee, Maryam Shettima popularly known as Maryam Shetty, from President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nomination.
Tinubu had on Wednesday forwarded the name of Shetty to the Senate as a ministerial nominee from Kano State.
But in a suprising twist, Tinubu withdrew the nomination and replaced her with a new nominee, Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure, DAILY GIST reports.
Speaking in an interview on Freedom Radio, Mr Ganduje alleged that Shetty’s name was smuggled into the ministerial list.
He also claimed that her nomination caused upset among the citizens of the state, who questioned her competency for the job.
He said, “In the process of appointing ministers, the president has people who will advise him from different states. Also, it is the prerogative of the president to appoint whoever he deems fit as minister.
“He also has the right to consult people from the state, because they are the ones who know the people who are fit to occupy such office.
“But what happened in this case is that we were not consulted. So we just heard her name on air. Initially, we didn’t complain, taking into consideration that Mr President has the right to appoint anyone. And as loyalists of the president who understand democracy, we accepted his choice.
“But again, we don’t know her, and since we don’t know her, we can’t vouch for her competency for the job.
Also, the President’s attention was drawn to the social media reactions that followed her nomination. Sometimes people take actions, thinking they won’t be caught. But you will be surprised that all your actions are in the public domain. That’s what happened in this case.
“The reactions became so intense, and people were questioning her competency, and worthiness to represent Kano State.
“These concerns were not raised by Ganduje, but the masses. The president was also shown the social media reactions, and he sought my opinion.
“Clearly, I told him, I don’t know who she is. He asked if there was a need to replace her, and I answered in the affirmative.
“Because these kinds of positions need someone with integrity, the person must also understand the job, and thirdly, what role did the person play in the formation of the government.
“So if you look at these qualities, we were the ones that needed to be consulted for any appointments coming from Kano State.
“Even though I don’t know all the competent people from Kano, at least our advice needs to be sought when people make recommendations, but that didn’t happen in this case.
“So the president gave us the opportunity to make a replacement with the emphasis that it must be a woman. After consultation with critical stakeholders, we settled for the new nominee, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure. From hearing the name, Bunkure, You know where she hailed from,” he said.
While acknowledging the role played by the former nominee, Ganduje assured that she would be considered for another appointment.
Speaking on the development, Shetty said she is grateful to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for considering her a ministerial nominee in the first place.
She also maintained that her withdrawal does not end her aspirations but has given her hope.
In a statement she issued on Saturday, she said, “I have found myself at the centre of a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s political landscape. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a move that brought me immense honour, chose me as a ministerial
Coming from the traditional, conservative regions of northern Nigeria, this represented a significant stride towards a more inclusive national representation.”
“The sheer joy and pride I felt at my nomination were beyond words. It was a validation of my capabilities, a nod to my vision, and a sign that our great nation was ready to embrace a future where young women like me, even from the most traditional parts of Nigeria, can hold positions of influence and power.
“Yet, life, with its characteristic unpredictability, led to the withdrawal of my nomination. To some, this could seem like a setback, but my faith as a devout Muslim guided my understanding.
I saw it as the divine will of Allah, who I believe grants power as He wishes when He wishes. His plans are always superior to ours.
“Even with this unexpected twist, my gratitude to President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for considering me for such an esteemed position remains undiminished.”