Scores of demonstrators from Kaduna State stormed the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress on Monday to demand that President Bola Tinubu should add an additional ministerial nominee to the slot of former Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Chanting solidarity songs and displaying several banners that read, “Mr President, please respect other APC families in Kaduna State” and “Mr President, give Kaduna people their democratic dividends,” the protesters insisted on having the National Chairman of APC, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, address them.
Addressing journalists at the secretariat, coordinator of Kaduna APC Patriots, Prof Gandu Yusuf, said aside from repaying the votes from the state with two ministerial nominees, the president must also endeavour that only those who genuinely worked for the success of the party should be considered.
This was even as Yusuf stressed the 40 per cent votes the president garnered from Kaduna were from a combined effort of party loyalists and certain chieftains from some opposition parties.
He said, “The selection of former Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai for ministerial position in the state was incontestable due to his performance evaluation. It is however going to be catastrophic for the party to maintain only one family for state and federal appointments, more so without considering major contributors in the political success. All the APC members in the state can testify to the major contributors to the success of the party in the state as it is widely acknowledged.
“This group is therefore objecting any new ministerial nomination outside those that have contributed immensely and glaringly to the success of the party in Kaduna State especially during the presidential and governorship elections. Now that Malam Nasir El-Rufai could not make the ministerial list, we urge you and the Governor of Kaduna State to consider advising Mr President to consider the state for a second ministerial position for a balanced proportion status.
“We are all aware that our party could not secure any of the three senatorial seats in the state and could only win four out of the 16 National Assembly positions in the last elections for obvious reasons. But for alliances and genuine cooperation between Senator Uba Sani, co-contestants during the primary elections and some members of other political parties, we were able to secure up to 40 per cent votes for the president as well as securing the governorship ticket and also getting 22 number of seats out of the total of 34 seats for the state assembly.”
While receiving the demonstrators, Ganduje reassured them that their demand will be conveyed to the president.
“We thank you for coming and appreciate you were very orderly. I listened to your speech with keen interest trying to find out where you are heading to. But throughout your speech, I observed you harped on capacity. You were requesting Mr President to also nominate one of you from Kaduna and did not mention any geographical region from your state.
“And you remember Mr President said his cabinet will be a government of national competence, not a cabinet of geographical location. Thank you. We will convey your request to Mr President,” he stated.