A member of the Niger State House of Assembly and head of the Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) have described as unacceptable the inclusion of only three Christians in the 30 names of commissioner-nominees that was sent to the house by the state Governor, Hon. Umar Bago last Thursday.
Of the list of 30 of commissioner-nominees, six are women, representing 20%.
The lawmaker expressed serious reservation over the unfair religious balance in list of the commissioner nominees, saying that “only three Christians out of the thirty names is not fair enough”.
Recall that the Speaker of the Niger Assembly, Abdulmalik Sarkindaji, summoned the State lawmakers to an emergency meeting on Thursday after the house had earlier adjurned sitting where the names were read out the members.
However, one of the lawmakers representing Lavun Constituency, Rt. Hon. Yusuf Baba Dabban, while speaking at the Annual State Convention of the Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Niger state chapter in Kutigi, Lavun local government area of the state, said “Christians and Muslims in the State are one. We (Lawmakers) have asked that the list be adjusted.”
The only three Christians in list are Elizabeth Shaba from Paikoro local government, Ibrahim Mami Ijah from Tafa local government, and Mourice Magaji from Munya local government.
In addition to this, the lawmakers also questioned the rationale behind picking the only three Christians from a particular political zone which is Zone B, the Niger East senatorial district.
According to him “when we received the list, we looked at it and discovered that there is no iota of guidance. And we, the lawmakers especially the Principal Officers are already making a recommendation that Christians form thirty percent (30%) or at least twenty five percent (25%) of the executive council.
“I personally invited the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Afiniki Eunice Dauda to attend this convention but because of the unfairness in the list, she and others are currently meeting to see that the Governor acts fast.”
“I can assure you by the special grace of God something must change on that list. The truth is that we are not fighting each other but we must tell ourselves the truth.”
While assuring that the lawmakers will meet with Governor Bago to act accordingly, Hon. Dabban said “we will advise him, and I know by the special grace of God he has a listening ear and he will listen to us..
“Maybe it was an oversight on the side of the Governor, but we have drawn the attention of His Excellency to it so as to look at it in a manner that we will have peaceful coexistence in the State.”
Earlier, the State Chairperson, WOWICAN, Deaconess Deborah Amina Gana had called on the State Governor, Umar Bago, to see and treat all Nigerlites as one irrespective of religious, tribal and or political affiliation.
According to Deaconess Gana, “our dear Governor, in your appointment, be fair and just as you promised and assured us before and after you emerged as Governor.
“Let your cabinet be balanced, give Christians a sense of belonging. Out of 30 nominees, we have only two or there Christians. That does not portray fairness; give women a sense of belonging by appointing more women into various positions especially into your cabinet.”