Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Youths of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) under the auspices of Southeast APC Young Progressive Forum have called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to give South-East additional ministerial slots for the sake of equity and balance.
Addressing journalists during a press conference in Awka, Anambra State on Monday, the national convener, Pascal Candle, flanked by Arinze Igboeli and other officers, expressed displeasure over the snub of the zone in the latest ministerial nominations by the president.
Recall that President Tinubu recently approved the nominations of Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Ayodele Olawande to serve as Minister of Youth, and Minister of State for Youth, respectively pending their confirmation by the Senate.
Commending the president on the decisions, the group said the latest ministerial appointment is not in line with the principles of Federal character and laws of the country as the southeastern region has not been given a fair share of positions in the ministerial positions.
“With the nomination of the Substantive Minister of Youth Development from Kwara State, the North Central geopolitical zone with six states now boasts of nine (9) ministers while the South West with six states now has ten (10) ministers following the n omination of the Minister of State for Youths Development from Ondo State. The Southeast geopolitical zone with five states remains the only zone among the six geopolitical zones without an additional Minister. We have only five Ministers without any zonal representation.
“This is a clear violation of section 14(3) of the 1999 constitution as amended and section 5 (a) & (b) under part 3 of Federal Character Commission Act Laws of Federation 2004 in ministerial appointment by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the group said.
The youths who questioned the reason why the Southeast should be snubbed in the latest nomination of ministers urged Tinubu to find a way to remedy the anomaly and imbalance.
The youths urged the president to give the South East at least two extra ministerial slots since it is the only zone that did not have extra ministerial nominees. It implored the President to choose his Minister from the pool of highly qualified young progressives who can easily be found in States of the southeast.
Speaking further, they asked Tinubu to consider nominating candidates from the youth Constituency in the South East geopolitical zone and ones who have the capacity and capability, to fill the position of the Minister for Youths, even as a minister of State for Youth Development.
They said Nigeria currently needs a formula that will unleash the latent entrepreneurial and creative potentials resident in its vast population of Youths and that the South East APC fold possesses highly capable and energetic young professionals and grassroots politicians who are capable of revolutionizing the Ministry of Youths.
The youths further called on the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio to fulfill his promise when Senators from South East drew his attention to the anomaly in which he promised to meet with Mr. President and speak with him over the matter.