In a surprising turn of events, the nomination of Maryam Shetty, a young and relatively unknown politician from Kano State, as a minister in President Bola Tinubu’s second batch of ministerial nominees, was shockingly withdrawn just hours before her screening.
The development has sparked speculation and debate surrounding the intriguing power play that led to her replacement with Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure, a former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State. Maryam Shetty gained national prominence when her name was included in the list of 19 ministerial nominees submitted by President Bola Tinubu.
However, on Friday, the President informed the Senate of two additional ministerial nominees and the withdrawal of Maryam Shetty’s nomination. The sudden change left many Nigerians bewildered, especially after a video of her at the National Assembly for screening surfaced on social media just moments before the news of her replacement broke.
Maryam Shetty Removal Sources revealed that the immediate past governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who recently emerged as the new national chairman of the ruling APC, nominated Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure to replace Shetty. Ganduje’s associates disclosed that the power play that led to the substitution was due to Shetty’s perceived lack of affiliation with the former governor’s political family. It was suspected that her name was “smuggled” into the list by a senior member of the presidency.
Furthermore, it was learned that Ganduje was of the view that the ministerial slot that Shetty occupied should have gone to him, given his new position as the national chairman of the APC. The other nominee from Kano, Abdullahi Tijjani Gwarzo, had ties to President Tinubu from their days in the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Ganduje’s supporters believe that the nomination of Shetty without his endorsement was an error that needed to be corrected.
The manner in which the replacement was communicated was seen as a message to those who allegedly manipulated Maryam Shetty’s inclusion in the list, indicating that President Tinubu was in charge and not pleased with such actions. It was also seen as a signal of the influence that Ganduje wields as the newly elected national chairman of the party.
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Additionally, there were speculations that another reason for Shetty’s replacement was her vocal stance against some of Ganduje’s policies when he served as governor, including the controversial deposition of former Emir Muhammadu Sanusi. Her close association with Sanusi, as well as her active presence on social media advocating for various causes, reportedly did not sit well with some members of the Kano APC family.
The nomination of Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure was reportedly influenced by President Tinubu’s intention to include a certain number of females in his cabinet.
Although Bunkure was not initially among the top contenders for the ministerial list, she got the nod at the last minute due to her gender, fulfilling President Tinubu’s target for female representation. Social media was abuzz with reactions to the sudden turn of events, with many expressing sympathy for Shetty and criticizing the process that led to her withdrawal.
Others commended her dedication and loyalty to the party. Nevertheless, the decision has been made, and Dr. Mariya Mahmoud Bunkure is now set to undergo the screening process as a ministerial nominee in President Tinubu’s cabinet. The unfolding drama surrounding the ministerial nomination highlights the complexities of power dynamics in Nigerian politics and underscores the significance of alliances and affiliations in the selection process.