Laxity in Ministerial Screening – Awunah Pius Terwase
In a country where insecurity, poverty, corruption, ethnic clashes, religious sentiments, illiteracy, rape, robbery, thuggery and many more man-made disasters are common and normal, a ministerial screening exercise should not be characterised by laxity where the ministerial nominees will be asked to take a bow and go.
Sensitive questions on issues of national interest should be asked and satisfactory answers should equally be given by those being screened to test their ability and to know if they can deliver after their confirmation.
In Nigeria, the power to screen ministerial nominees and others is derived from the constitution and the same constitution is hardly respected by the elected members of the upper chamber whenever they are exercising this power.
What they do is to ask the nominees to take a bow and go instead of scrutinising them by asking questions that matter about what they can do differently from others who were once in positions they are going to occupy if successfully screened, or why they did what they did that wasn’t proper in their previous assignments.
Asking people to take a bow and go is not a civilised policy of democracy and democratically it is wrong. For example, look at the increasing level of crime in Abuja, disregard for the traffic order by the motorists, harassment of residents that are doing their legitimate businesses by the members of the Task Force in Abuja, killing some in the name of enforcing the so called order that prohibits hawking of wares in Abuja when alternative means of livelihood for the hawkers can’t be provided.
The man that has been the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, under whose watch the development mentioned happened is being nominated for the second time and when he appeared for screening, he took a bow and vanished. As far as I know, that was not a screening and it was not right.
This must stop, re-screen those who you asked to take a bow and go, ask them questions such as why is the power supply in the country still problematic? Why do universities still go on strike? How would they address the issue of rape, child trafficking, child abuse, massacre of people in different parts of the country by the Fulani herdsmen and armed bandits? What contribution can they make to help bring back Leah Sharibu, other abducted schoolgirls still in the custody of Boko Haram and what can they do to bring a lasting solution to the issue of insecurity in the country?
Also, they should be saved, what they can do to make Nigerians patronise their hospitals and stop going to London, Dubai, India and so on for medical issues. The above questions and more should be asked and if any of them cannot answer convincingly, such should not be recommended and allowed to serve as a minister in this country.
Discard the first screening, it was a child’s play; call them back to face the real screening that will be devoid of take a bow and go.
Awunah Pius Terwase, writes from Nasarawa State.
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