Nigeria’s President Buhari makes history with further delay in announcing his cabinet
Based on remarks from Nigeria’s Senate leader, Ali Ndume, Nigeria should not expect a finalised ministerial list from President Buhari anytime soon. He confirmed the decision of the senate to screen 3 ministerial nominees per day. He further explained that the constitution supports a maximum of 21 working days for screening of ministers, and that Senate’s definition of working days is different from the commercial definition of working days.
In an interview with the press, Ali Ndume said that “…So, if you are talking about 21 working days, it means that the Senate will do this within seven weeks because we sit for plenary Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. That is three working days. It means that logically, we can do this up to seven weeks…”
“Up to seven weeks” implies that members of President Buhari’s cabinet would not be announced until late December/Early January. Focus Economics in addition to other international observers have noted that this delay in selecting a cabinet has raised some uncertainty in Buhari’s direction and plan for the country.
This delay in appointment makes President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s only President to take such an extensive period to appoint a cabinet since Nigeria’s democratic election in 1999. Here is a list of some of Nigeria’s past democratic presidents and how long it took for them to organise a cabinet after they were sworn in:
Obasanjo was sworn in as president of Nigeria in May 1999 and chose almost all the members of his cabinet within the next month. In his second term as President in 2003, the ministerial cabinet was announced two months after his inauguration. Though Obasanjo’s two tenures in office were characterized by numerous reshuffles of ministerial appointments, he was not slow with his appointments.
Umaru Musa Yar’adua
Yar’adua was sworn in as president in May 2007 and announced his ministerial cabinet in July same year, just two months after his swearing in. Even after his death, his cabinet members were still active for some weeks until they were dissolved by Goodluck Jonathan.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
After wining the presidential election in 2011, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan followed the footsteps of his predecessors by announcing the appointment of members of his cabinet in July.
Notably, President Buhari has not followed the footsteps of his predecessor Jonathan.
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