President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday explained why he gave Kano and Kaduna States two extra ministerial slots, with senior portfolios, saying that it was aimed at rewarding loyalty and support he got during the election.
DAILY NIGERIAN had reported that Mr Buhari rewarded his largest support base, northwest geo-political zone, with nine full ministers, followed by the South West and North East which got 4 senior ministers each.
The rest of the three geo-political zones get three full ministers each.
Among the six geo-political zones in the country, North West, comprising Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi, also has the highest number of ministers, with two each from Kano and Kaduna.
Two ministers from Kano, Bashir Magashi and Sabo Nanono got the Defence and Agriculture portfolios respectively, while two ministers from Kaduna, Zainab Ahmed and Muhammad Mahmoud, were appointed Ministers of Finance and Environment respectively.
Mr Buhari stated this during a courtesy visit on the Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris in his palace in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The president noted that issues of unemployment would be quickly addressed when all levels of government lived up to their duties.
“I have been talking to the Governor when we were driving, the young people, the population growth here is so big and the 20 and below are the majority.
“And they don’t seem to care how you make it, but they want the leadership to provide jobs, to provide security and all other things that are expected of government.
“A lot of them have not got the opportunity for further education, so let us study the constitution and see the responsibilities of three tiers of government.”
“Before you push everything to me, I am just reminding you that I will do my best and I will make sure that the new cabinet is working for the good of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
Mr Buhari acknowledged the massive votes he received in Kano and Kaduna states, saying that was why he allocated two ministerial seats to each of the states.
“Kaduna and Kano State are the only two states I gave two substantive positions in my council, so I have appreciated your votes and paid you back by giving you Ministers of Environment and Finance.”
The President assured the Emir that he would do his best in attending to some requests presented to him before leaving office.
“Your Highness, your shopping list is an expensive one and since I have four years to go, I will try and start or do most of them before I go.
“So that when I eventually go it will be on your record that I listened to your representation on behalf of your constituency.
“We are in a very difficult time. The Emir has mentioned about insecurity and you know it very well that my party and myself identified three issues right from 2015.
“Number one is security, because you have to secure a country or an institution to manage it properly and the second one is economy and third fight against corruption.”