Cabinet reshuffle: “Appoint FCT indigene as minister now” -Lawyer appeals to Buhari

An activist and constitutional lawyer, Musa Baba-Panya, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an indigene of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (FCT-Abuja) as a federal minister, to correct the injustices of the past.

Baba-Panya, a rights activist and an indigene of FCT, made the call yesterday in a statement he released in Abuja.

The call was predicated on the recent minor cabinet reshuffle by the President. Recall that President Buhari, on Sept. 1, approved a reshuffle in the cabinet, formed on August12, 2019.

Buhari had dropped the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman. While the president is yet to appoint a replacement, he redeployed two ministers to assume offices in the affected ministries.

The lawyer said it was time to bring this to the President’s knowledge that there was an outstanding issue yet to be resolved in the country.

Baba-Panya reminded that, apart from the fact that the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on January 15, 2018, gave a judgment in their favour on the need for a ministerial appointment and the legal status of FCT-Abuja to be a State, in accordance with the provisions of the law, the Supreme Court had also on March 13, 2020, in the case of Bakare vs. Ogundipe (2021)5 NWLR (pt. 1768)SC.1 vindicated them on the legal status of the Capital Territory, putting an end to the hitherto lingering controversy.

“With the Supreme Court decision now, this is not even the Court of Appeal judgment anymore, it is an issue of obedience to the rule of law. It is simply about doing justice, impartial justice to all citizens.

“The FCT-Abuja indigenes demand equality and justice, which they are entitled to under the Constitution,” he said.

“Let Buhari, just as he has addressed injustices of the past like June 12, 1993 Election; he needs to address this injustice because this issue did not arise today”, he further stated.

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