Home News Ministerial list: FCT deserves slot, Abuja-based lawyer, Olajengbesi says

Ministerial list: FCT deserves slot, Abuja-based lawyer, Olajengbesi says

Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi

ABUJA- An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, says it will be injustice for the indigenous people of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), if the current administration does not give the FCT a ministerial slot.

Olajengbesi, who is the Managing Partner at the Law Corridor, a law firm in Abuja, urged President Bola Tinubu on Friday not to deny the FCT the benefits of a state.

He said it would be hypocritical not to allot a ministerial slot to the FCT after the party considered the FCT as a state, while arguing the requirement of 25 per cent of votes during the presidential election.

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) argued during the 2023 presidential election that the FCT is a state, citing Section134 (1) (b) and (2) (b) with emphasis on “two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.

“For fairness, justice and equity, the APC-led government of President Bola Tinubu should not deny the Federal Capital Territory a ministerial slot just as each of the 36 states get at least one ministerial slot,” he said.

Olajengbesi said that his call was in line with Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution on federal character principle to promote national unity, foster national loyalty and give every citizen of Nigeria a sense of belonging to the nation.

“Also, Section 14 (3 and (4) of the 1999Constitution says that composition of the Government of the Federation must be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity.

“The APC-led administration should give a sense of belonging to the aboriginal people of Abuja and give a ministerial slot to an indigene just as each of the 36 states produced indigenes as members of the Federal Executive Council.”

Olajengbesi noted that no indigene of Abuja had been appointed FCT Minister since the return to democracy in 1999, yet political parties use the FCT as a state to get the required constitutional votes to win presidential election.

He listed the past FCT ministers to include Ibrahim Bunu, from May 1999 to February 2001 (Borno State) and Mohammed Abba Gana, from February 2001 to July 2003 (Borno State).

Others were Nasir elrufai, from July 2003 to July2007 (Kaduna State); Aliyu Modibbo Umar, from July 2007 to October 2008 (Gombe State) and Adamu Aliero, from December 2008 to April 2010 (Kebbi State).

He also listed Bala Mohammed from Bauchi, as the occupant of the seat from April 2010 to May 2015.

The legal practitioner said that Mohammed Bello, the immediate past FCT Minister under former President Muhammadu Buhari, is from Adamawa, while his Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, is from Kogi. (NAN)

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