President Muhammad Buhari, President of Nigeria
President Muhammad Buhari, President of Nigeria

Social Media Agog as Nigerians React to Buhari’s Sack of Two Ministers
By Abbas Badmus

TECHDIGEST – Four days after President Muhammad Buhari sacked minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Sabo Nanono and his Power counterpart, Saleh Mamman, Nigerians are still reacting to the president’s decision to ease the ministers out of the Federal Executive Council.

Nigerians have taken to the social media to share their reactions over these recent development.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said Buhari should not use the sack of the two ministers to cover up the administration’s failures.

The party said it is investigating the real reason behind the sack of the two ministers.

A series of tweets by the former ruling party reads: “@OfficialPDPNig describes President @MBuhari resort to sacking the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Nanono and his Power counterpart, Saleh Mamman, as a ludicrous and infective attempt to cover for his failures in office.

Kingsley Moghalu, former presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party, YPP, said the president’s decision was the right thing but came late.

The former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, also accused the Buhari government of weak performance.

He wrote: “After six years of weak performance by his govt, Pre @Mbuhari has reportedly fired two Ministers (Agric &Power) who, presumably in his judgment deserved to go”.

On its part, the Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has asked the President, Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the worsening insecurity in the country instead of sacking ministers to divert attention from his failures.

The caucus, in a statement on by its leader, Ndudi Elumelu, dismissed the sacking of two ministers by Buhari.

The lawmakers described the President’s action as “a diversionary strategy to divert public attention from the myriads of failures of the All Progressives Congress-led administration in the past six years.”

Meanwhile, stakeholders have called on the new Ministers to build on the legacies of their predecessors.

Mr. Daniel Hassan, National Assistant Secretary General, National Soyabean Association of Nigeria, said Nanono had lofty plans and programmes for the agricultural sector as well as the value chain sector.

”Obviously the news of Nanono’s removal came as a shock to me,” he said.

Hassan noted that agriculture is key to development as it has the capacity to boost gross domestic products as well as internal and external revenue generation.

”Agriculture is also the pilot of import and export because it has the highest employment of labour,” he said.

Also Mrs. Comfort Sunday, FCT Coordinator, Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation (SWOFON), thanked Nanono for his contributions towards ensuring women farmers’ participation in agriculture.

She urged the in-coming agriculture minister to initiate innovative programmes to promote gender inclusivity in the sector.

Sunday also wants the new minister to address the issue of land ownership for women as well as other demands.

She equally called on the new agriculture minister to key into the Federal Government‘s eforts to address not only food security but ensure security at the farm level.

Similarly, experts in the power sector advised the newly-appointed Minister of Power, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, to urgently address the crisis in the power sector.

Former Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Mr. Sam Amadi said that the power ministry needed someone who could manage its complexities.

“I hope this new one will do better and beyond managing the sector there is need to review the roadmap and policy framework of power sector.

“The power ministry is not a straight forward one; it is not like building roads; it is not like other sectors.

“This is a sector that is managing many stakeholders, managing a complex market that is difficult to grow and regulate,” he said.

According to Amadi, the ministry needs somebody who has creative thinking and strategic management skills and vast experience in the sector.

On his part, Mr. Dimeji Macaulay, a Human Rights Activist, said that the power sector needed a new minister that could look deeply into the crisis in the sector.

He said, “This isn’t the first time that a minister of power will be sacked. But as things stand the crisis in the power sector needs a new minister.

“I will also propose that the new minister should reverse the privatisation of power sector. The privatisation has failed.

“So far, the privatisation of the power sector has been the major reason that the crisis remains unsolved.

“The Distribution Companies (DisCos) and Generation Companies (GenCOS) licences should be revoked.

“So, we join Nigerians to demand for renationalisation of the sector under democratic control and management and should include elected representatives of electricity consumers in different communities and workers in the electricity sector.”

Until his redeployment to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar was the Minister of Environment while Abubakar Aliyu who assumes office as Minister of Power was the Minister of State for Works.

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