As Bukola Saraki Unveils #TheList, What Should Be Paramount? By Makinde Smith


In the critical expectation of a magician government that will erase the miserable memory of Good Luck Jonathan from the people’s mind possibly in just a night, Nigerians are anxiously expecting the Ministerial appointees that will join the cabinet to assist President Muhammadu Buhari in bringing their dreams alive. For the past four months, citizens have eagerly been waiting for this day. If not for the overwhelming goodwill enjoyed by President Buhari in fact, a lot of turmoil would have emanated from the delayed process of the cabinet formation. Nevertheless, today, October 6th, 2015, is the day that #TheList submitted by the Presidency to the Senate on the eve of September 30th will see the light of the day. Hurray!
As we can all say that President Buhari has done all within his power to propose a set of ‘quintessential’ individuals to the Senate, we can also affirm the fact that Saraki isn’t meant to read the list alone, he has the power to influence who scales through, or not, among the nominees. Therefore, Saraki doesn’t only preside on the official declaration of the process; he largely presides on both the official and political passageways of the screening. The point of concern here is the boiling state of disagreement between the Senate President and some power holders of the ruling party. Saraki in his pursuit of efficient “Open NASS,” had promised a swift-but-thorough scrutiny of all nominees. Should any unexpected name, especially stalwarts of his opposing powers surface before the Senate? Then the hypothesis that Nigerians will have to exercise more-elongated patience would be very much correct.
In all sincerity, Nigeria is no more static like before. But to be completely frank with ourselves, the politics behind the screen is seriously horrible. What worries us as citizens is that we supported and voted for ‘change’, not by mistake in anyways, but by deep conviction and a renewed hope that our country would assume a practical turning point where democracy will eventually turn out as government of the people. However, with all the ready-made fractures in the APC through the battles and unending acrimonies confronting the Senate, hopes are shaking. What happened to the PDP under the watch of Janathan, I mean how the party warriors started creating its gradual wind-up by their purported clash of supremacy, has also started happening in the APC, much more early. Personally, I’m no way surprised because I never expected much difference from the APC. But the irreparable damages that the masses will be made to suffer once again are the cause of my fear.
Today, what happens if the list is read to the Senators? Nothing of course! Because if truly the nominees are yet unknown to anybody until that moment, then another round of power tussle is about to commence. Everyone wants his loyalist to make the high-rated Buhari cabinet, with many suggestions made to the President already. Assuming they have been taken into consideration and it’s just the Senate hook to be surmounted, should anything contravene the so-called “party interest” again? Then masses should kill all other expectations and be looking forward to a re-enforced CCB case or another EFCC invitation for the Senate President. Honestly, all these are likely to occur especially when credence is lent to the widespread rumour that Saraki was dragged to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) typically by some cabals who doesn’t want him on the seat of the Senate President, not to talk of their preferred candidates appearing before him for screening.
Dear brethren, things cannot continue this way. Political parties play very significant roles in democracy and governance. Their decisions, to a larger extent, inform the actions of the leaders. The winning unity, decorum and passion exhibited by the APC during the pre-election period are more needed now in order not to jeopardize the goals of the party and cause a derail for the government.
As Saraki uncovers the mask of the list today, Nigerians look forward to a well-stabilized government that will move swiftly to solve all economic and social problems pulling down the walls of this country. Complete priority should be given to productive governance and not counter-attacks by politicians that yield no positive result on the part of the masses.
Let the Senate begin the screening in a fair-enough mode that will not hold Nigerians in another set of ransom.