The indigenes of Benue state, youths and prominent Tiv socio-cultural organization, on the platform of Ayatutu Youth Vanguard, has demanded for merit-based selection in the nomination of the Minister to represent the State.
Dismissing the prevailing speculations surrounding the potential candidacy of a Tiv man, Emmanuel Jime, the group emphasised the need to prioritize qualifications and competence over ethno-political considerations, according to The Sun.
The statement signed by the National Coordinator of the Ayatutu Youth Vanguard, Tyongi Aondongu, made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, categorically rejected the speculations that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s choice should be constrained by the previous positions held by individuals from the same state in his cabinet.
While asserting President Tinubu’s constitutional authority to appoint ministers from any state, they emphasised his prerogative to select the most capable candidate for the role.
Aondongu said, “The discourse revolving around the ethnic background of the potential Minister is an unnecessary distraction.”
They noted in the statement drawing attention to past instances, wherein David Mark, an Idoma man, held the position of Senate President alongside Abba Moro, also an Idoma man, serving as a Minister under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The group also emphasised the absence of constitutional barriers to such appointments, urging the public to shift the focus towards President Tinubu’s ability to identify and appoint competent individuals who can inspire a renewed sense of hope for the nation.
The youth vanguard strongly advised against exploiting the situations to sow discord among Benue State’s political elites and the tribes that have long coexisted harmoniously. “In line with fundamental principles of democracy, including the acknowledgment of hard work and loyalty, we argue fair recognition of the Tiv people’s overwhelming support for the All Progressives Congress across all levels of governance.
The statement read in part, “Such steadfast allegiance merits due acknowledgment and representation. While the Tiv people extended their resolute support to President Tinubu, the Idoma people actively rallied behind Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
“Politics is inherently about numbers and diverse affiliations, we highlight the importance of considering historical context. We dispel the notion that Tiv people should be denied simultaneous positions as Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Minister. We seek to foster a more inclusive and equitable political landscape.”
The youth vanguard urged Nigerians to exhibit patience and extend their support to the policies of President Tinubu’s administration. The group vehemently asserts that President Tinubu has no intention of marginalising or victimising any group based on their political leanings.
“We emphasise the imperative of selecting candidates for national service solely on the grounds of merit, transcending religious and tribal affiliation,” they noted.