Ex-perm sec seeks ministerial slot for Abuja natives

by Daily Trust

A retired federal Permanent Secretary, Barrister Aboki Zhawa has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the inclusion of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) indigene in his cabinet.

This followed Buhari’s ministerial nomination recently with screening and confirmation of ministers by the Senate with FCT indigenes excluded.
Zhawa argued that the FCT indigenes voted massively for Buhari during the March/April general elections, adding that an Abuja High Court in a case between late Gani Fawehinmi and former Head of State Ibrahim
Babangida delivered a judgement qualifying FCT indigenes to be given ministerial slot.

The former permanent secretary told Daily Trust in an interview weekend that it was not too late to consider FCT indigenes in the ministerial appointment, stressing it would rekindle the confidence of the people in government and deepen democracy in the country.

He said during the last constitution review exercise, the issue of ministerial slot, additional senatorial districs, increase in the number of House of Representatives seats and area councils in the FCT was discussed and accepted but is yet to be implemented.

Barrister Zhawa said according to the provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution, the FCT is supposed to be treated as a state. He explained that the FCT has a senator and member of House of Representatives as well as High Court as stipulated by the constitution but do not have an indigene as minister.

“If you look at the government structure that we have, we had over 40 ministers. There were additional ministers after the 36 ministers and what government did was to allocate the extra-ministers to zones. I asked a question; where is this in the constitution that a zone shall have a minister? And if it is not in the constitution, why is it that
the FCT cannot be considered along with the zones?,” he queried.

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