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THE PRESIDENT’S TEAM (PART TWO): THE PROBLEM OF DONATED MINISTERS; by Prof. Tunde Adeniran

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‘’The way Ministers are donated suggests that their primary loyalty would be to the Governor, godfather, or party chieftain that nominated them; rather than the President who gave them the job. ‘’Granted there are some Ministers who could make an about-turn to ditch their Governors for the President, in the final analysis, there is no reason why the President should take such a risk.’’ Tunde Adeniran ”The lesson of good practice in successful implementation of civil (public) service transformation strategies is that the implementation Unit should be located in the Office of Head of Government…. The Unit should also bear overall responsibility for monitoring, evaluation and reporting of activities carried out under the strategy.” Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun PREAMBLE: In his Preface to my publication titled: ‘GOVERNANCE AN INSIDER’S REFLECTIONS ON THE NIGERIAN POLITY, eminent political scientist, Prof. Tunde Adeniran asserted that: ‘’Participant-observers are among the most challenged of researchers, social analysts, and commentators. ‘’They readily stand the risk of having their heads in the clouds, becoming servants of power chroniclers; or even victims of cognitive dissonance. ‘’They could also turn out to be conscientious commentators, creative counsellors and intellectual advocates of change.’’ Prof. Adeniran has also at some point in time been a participant observer, having occupied coveted positions of Federal Minister of Education of the Federal Republic; and Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In this second and concluding part of a paper he presented a few years ago, Prof. Adeniran takes a look at some fundamental issues in the governance of Nigeria from the perspective of an insider. THE PROBLEM OF DONATED MINISTERS: The consequences of allowing any cabinet to be dominated by other politicians could be grave for any President. First, it goes contrary to the principles and practice of Presidential democracy. In Presidentialism, the President is the only elected individual with a nationwide mandate. In the case of Nigeria, this mandate empowers him to take decisions on behalf of every Nigerian with regards to governance. This literally means that all the bucks stop at the President’s table. He must be ready to take the credit for good performance and the flaks for anything untoward. To be effective, the President needs a cabinet that fully understands what he wants to achieve, the way he wants to go about it and the time he wants to achieve it. In short, the President needs a cabinet that shares…

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