How Tinubu was misled in nominating Maryam Shetty as minister – Ganduje

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, has explained how President Bola Tinubu, was “misled” into nominating Maryam Shetty, the ministerial nominee from Kano, whose nomination was withdrawn.

Mr Ganduje, the immediate past governor of Kano State, said the president never consulted him before Ms Shetty’s nomination.

He said the president only contacted him after the public outcry about some of Ms Shetty’s posts on social media.

He said this in a recorded radio interview aired by multiple stations on Saturday night in Kano.

Ms Shetty had arrived at the Senate awaiting to be screened until news broke that her nomination had been withdrawn and another person, Mariya Mahmud, a former Commissioner for Higher Education in Mr Ganduje’s administration in Kano, was named in her stead.

Her nomination, which generated excitement and created a social media buzz among her supporters, also provoked intense criticism and condemnation.

Mr Ganduje said contrary to other people’s belief that he was responsible for her replacement, he said he knew little about her, and he did not question why the President nominated her from Kano without consulting him.

He said the president only contacted him following a backlash on social media that greeted her nomination.

“In the selection of ministerial nominees, the president has people that are giving him advice across States, and the president has the power to nominate whoever he likes, and he also has the power to make consultations on the persons he had chosen to serve in his cabinet from the people of that particular state.

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“You know, in a palace (presidency), some people claimed to know much about something, but they did not; we just saw Ms Shetty’s name like any other Nigerian; we are followers of the president, we are careful, we did not challenge the choice of Ms Shetty because we did not know much about her personality and capabilities to deliver on the job that makes us remain mum.

“But problems started when her social media post started to cause a stir. Social media always kept a record of what you and what you have even forgot you posted. People on social media started challenging her personality in representing the people of Kano and her capability for the job. This brings about the problem.

“This is how the issue came around. I am not involved in it the president was disturbed about it, and he later contacted me and asked whether I nominated her (Ms Shetty). I said no, and he queried how she was nominated.

“I do not have the monopoly of knowing Kano better, People from Kano can advise the President on the nomination, but we ought to have consulted for such an appointment, Mr Ganduje said.

How the replacement happened

Mr Ganduje said the president, after reaching out to him about Ms Shetty, tasked him to look for her replacement which must also be a female nominee from Kano.

“We have women who have worked with us in the administration of Kano state, one of them is Mariya Mahmud Bunkure, a medical doctor, who served as commissioner for Higher Education for four years, she came from Kano south, they have been crying for marginalisation in Kano, even though, I have bridged the gap during my tenure as governor.

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“I saw the need for Doctor Mariya, who hails from Kano South, to fit in for the replacement, and now she is being screened for the position by the Senate, this is what led to the change.

“I did not explain this in detail to hurt anyone or to paint them (Ms Shetty) in a bad light; I was never part of the people who questioned her capacity because I don’t know much about her; it is the outcry from Kano, and this did not disqualify her from holding other positions because she has contributed to the success of the APC and she will be treated as such, the former governor said.

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