A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Edward Pwajok (Plateau, PDP), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to appoint less than 37 ministers into his cabinet.
Pwajok, who was Plateau State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, said the president would be contravening the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria if he should skip any of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the appointment of his ministers.
Speaking to newsmen in Jos, the member representing Jos East/Jos South Federal Constituency of Plateau State in the National Assembly, said while the president is free to appoint more than 37 ministers, he is not permitted by the 1999 constitution to fall short of 37.
He also advised that if Mr. Buhari feels strongly that because of the declining economic condition, it is unwise to maintain a bloated cabinet, he should initiate an amendment to the constitution first.
“Though Mr. President has not sent his nominees to the Senate for confirmation as ministers, there are speculations in the media that he intends to appoint less than 36 or 37 ministers because of the downturn in the economy”, Pwajok said.
The lawmaker said the whole idea is to make every state feel a presence at the centre, and that this should be respected.
He explained, “The spirit in the constitution is what we should look at, which is to engender unity and a sense of belonging to all the federating units and to choose capable hands, which abound in every state of the country. Each part of this country has people who have served and will continue to serve this country meritoriously. So, Mr. President should extend his searchlight widely and go to every state and choose the best hands, male or female, young or old that will help him in governing this country”.