An All Progressives Congress stalwart in Niger State has expressed disappointment in President Muhammadu Buhari over the continuous marginalization in the allocation of ministerial positions to the State.
While expressing his grievances to journalists on Sunday, a chieftain of the APC in the state and former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Jonathan Vatsa, said: “We have been shortchanged for the junior minister position allocated to us in view of our contribution the party’s victory in the 2015 and 2019 elections.
“We worked and delivered votes more than other states who have either two Ministers or that got senior Ministries.
“Like it is done to those from Niger Delta who are given Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger State as the largest contributor of energy requirement of the country should have been given the Ministry of Power.
“The state is playing host to the three hydro electric dams that is contributing over 70 per cent of energy requirement of the country in addition to the Zungeru Dam, which is under construction, so therefore we should be allowed to oversee the Power Ministry.
“Another option would have been that if it is not Ministry of Power, it should have been Ministry of Federal Capital Territory because Niger State sacrificed 90 per cent of its lands that made up Abuja today without adequate compensation.”
It should be noted that various interest groups have continued to react over portfolios allocated to the newly inaugurated ministers by President Buhari.
Vatsa, who was the APC’s former Publicity Secretary in the state, believed that the state deserved more than what it got, adding that the Ministries of Power and Federal Capital Territory, Abuja should have be given to Niger State, especially as it has only a slot.
He said: “In 2015, we dismantled all the opposition parties structures in the state and made it 100 per cent APC state.
“Also, in 2019, we worked tirelessly and repeated the same feat and we overwhelmingly delivered the state at all levels in the elections, but unfortunately the only thing we got for our efforts was junior Ministers in 2015 and 2019.
“In 2015, Bawa Bwari was given Minister of State for Solid Mineral Resources and now in 2019 Ambassador Zubairu Dada has been asked to take Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.”
Vatsa expressed disappointment in the appointment, saying states that could not boast of a single seat delivered to the party in the two elections were rewarded with either senior Minister or two ministerial positions.
According to Vatsa: “It beats my imagination that a non APC state that contributed little or nothing to the party during the elections is being rewarded with two ministerial slots.
“Even some APC states that did not perform as much as Niger State in the elections were rewarded with senior Minister’s position.
“We feel shortchanged by Mr. President as a state because hard work was not rewarded, and above all equity, justice and fair play were overlooked in the allocation of ministerial portfolios by Mr. President.”