Painting The Picture of Tambuwal’s Cabinet

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The delay by Sokoto state’s Governor Aminu Tambuwal to form his cabinet has triggered debate as to the calibre of persons that would, at the end of selection, become members of the Executive Council (EXCO) of the state.

While party faithfuls want the governor to consider members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who not only joined in the campaign train but also supported the party to succeed at the last election. To be of more considered, some others posit, are the ‘political investors’ who spent their money for Tambuwal to become governor.

Others best still, see as quintessential the need for him to grant rights of nomination of such EXCO members to those that could, rightly or wrongly, be described as his ‘god-fathers’.

I think neither of those positions are wrong. All party supporters have the right to ask to partake directly or indirectly in the administration of the state. This could be as a payoff for their support. So also, the ‘political investors’ would want to reap from their ‘investments’. More again, the ‘god-fathers’ would want to reaffirm their political prowess by ‘planting’ their own in positions of prominence. They would want to dictate to Tambuwal who holds what position.

Worthy of note however, is the stake of the multitudes of the people of Sokoto state, without whose votes the individual support and private investment would count to nothing. Those categories of people had to resort to the electorate to the elections. It means therefore that, since the electorates down there cannot nominate anyone for any position, they have the right to governance that is a product of credibility.

In retrospect, Tambuwal promised good governance for the people of the state; one “that would transform Sokoto to greater heights.” While good governance is attainable, it is possible ONLY and ONLY if selfish quests are quenched.

For Sokoto to attain greater heights truly requires good governance. But good governance can only be attained through selfless leadership – one that is composed of qualified hands that would professionally give their best in the various ministries, department and agencies they find themselves. To achieve good governance requires extra planning, strategies and ‘I-don’t-mind-what-you-think-or-say’ kind of attitude while making appointments into your cabinet.
Mr. Governor, you must ensure that you put round or square pegs in round or square holes. For that, ministries like health, agriculture, finance, education, works and housing, environment, information, etc should have a doctor,  an agriculturist, an accountant/banker, educationist/academic, an engineer/architect, environmentalist, journalist/communication expert, etc.

Service delivery can only be achieved when professionals exert their wealth of experience and expertise in manning such ministries. Since only lawyers are appointed as commissioners in the justice ministries, i don’t see any justification appointing an engineer as a commissioner for the health ministry. Sokoto state have indigenes that are professionals out there, including those in the academic circle. Mr. Governor sir, go for them. Professional politicians should be assigned to do some other things.

While you may want to have friends in your cabinet, such should be qualified to hold the positions. They should be there not because they are friends, but because they merit to be there. Friends must not be seen contributing to your failure. Good governance has been your major campaign slogan. In your post election speeches too, you have continued to reiterate your resoluteness  to deliver Sokoto from both social and economic ills.

Again, much as you or some people would want you to reappoint those that had served in other administrations, they must be seen to have served meritoriously in the past. However, recycling public servants breeds corruption and much as there are several other untested capable hands, it will only be wise to extend requests of service to others. Positions are not meant to be recycled, otherwise others won’t have the opportunity to contribute their quota for the development of the state.

You did it at the House of Representatives when as Speaker, you appointed heads of House committees and other Aides based on merit. Those succeeded in the discharge of their duties up to the time you left.