By Suleiman Umaru
More facts have emerged why President Muhammadu Buhari, failed to control former ministers in his first term in office as they worked at collision course leading to the
The President , who could not hide his feelings at a dinner organised for the National Assembly leadership led by Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, on Thursday, July 12, 2019, admitted that he did not know ”most of the ministerial nominees as they were ”names and recommendations from the party and other individuals which he failed to disclose.
Recall, Aisha Bushari, the First Lady, had cried out , that most of those appointed as ministers , Heads of Agencies and Departments , were not personally known to her Husband but imposed on him the party and other people. The Katsina born Nigerian President may have learnt his lesson as he has vowed to appoint persons that are known to him personally” unlike in 2015”.
Political watchers believe that he may have worked with them for the last three and half years, to avoid , dislocating his government. He may have had opportunity of studying the characters of those ministers , who were not known to him personally by meeting with them regularly. He had confirmed at the State state House dinner for the National Assembly Leadership, that he was meeting with them twice or or two weeks in a month to know them better.
He may have clearly informed Senator Lawan and his Colleagues that truly, he was not in charge of the state of affairs in the country as he could not control the ministers but this time around he has promised to be in charge as he will people he personally know to enable him his Constitutional responsibilities. It was not surprising why the clique constituted themselves into a powerful Cabal in the Presidency dictating to him what to do at every point in time including the initiation of the unpopular Ruga Settlement programme which was meant to be implemented in the 36 states of the Federation.
Presidency sources told The Value News that most of those who were invited for the dinner were those who would likely make the ministerial list. It was not surprising why he said that he is under tremendous pressure as many at the dinner meeting want to see the list of the proposed Cabinet so that they can go on leave peacefully.
Note that the President had been traveling to London in the recent time for medical checkup ostensibly to keep away from lobbyists. There have been rumours making the rounds that the President has selected the first tranche of ministerial nominees containing sixteen names made up of both technocrats, businessmen
The Value News on its June 30, 2019, edition, published a story of the alleged first tranche of the ministerial nominees titled Buhari Workers. The names that were said to have appeared on the list were Kayode Adesola, Ogun who was said to have been, penciled down to oversee the ministry of Labour andProductivity
Other names on the new Cabinet list that were said to have been allegedly released by the President include Akinwunmi Ambode, a former governor of Lagos state, who was denied a second term by Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of the state and National leader of the All Progressive Congress, APC, over his disloyalty to him and the leadership of the state Chapter of the party , Fatima Gambo, Taraba state, Women Affairs, Ogbonaya Onu, a Chemical Engineer, from Eboyi state , who incidentally was Buhari’s former minister of Science and Technology, Abubakar Malami,an indigene of Kebbi state and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who was said o have retained his position of minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Ahmed Mohammed, Kwara, Industry, Trade and Investment, Barnabas Bala Bantas,who may have taken up the ministerial slot of Kaduna state was said to have been assigned as a minister of state, Education, Senator George Akume, a former governor of Benue state, whose name appeared on the list cited by the Magazine as the new minister of state, Petroleum Resources and Abdulrahman Ambazau, a retitred Army Lt. General and former Chief of Army Staff, CAS, who had ventured into the murky waters of Nigerian politics , and was appointed minister of Interior in Buhari’s first term who may have retained his ministry.
Note that Dambazau, as for CAS, had raised
This is in addition to Mohammed Bindow Jibrilla, a former governor of Adamawa state, who lost his re-election to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governorship Candidate in the state, to oversee the FCT, Halima Bbayo, Yobe state, Foreign Affairs, Adebayo Adelabu, Oyo, Finance, Goswill Akbabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state and later , PDP, Senate minority leader, who decamped to APC, under pressure to escape being allegedly probed by the Ibrahim Magu, a Commissioner of Police, CP, led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Femi Adesina, a former President of Nigerian Guild of Editors, who was said to have retained his portfolio as Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
As at press time time, it was speculated that these other former ministers, Adamu Adamu, a failed minister of Education Zainab Ahmed, Finance,Aisha Abubakar, Women Affairs, Lai Mohammed, Information and Culture, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, a former governor of Lagos state, Adamu Kazure, Water Resources, Mohammed Musa, FCT also made the Cabinet list.
There are indications that the President may have retained 15 of his former ministers which were based on their outstanding performance in their first term. The President has the Constitutional power to appoint 36 or 42 ministers to work with him the Executive arm of the government
Political watchers believe that Lawan, the Senate Pressident and other National Assembly officials may have seen the list during the dinner organised for them by the President to prepare their mind of what to expect to expedite action in passing the ministerial list without delay. The Senate President had reechoed what the President had repeatedly said: to appoint people who would help him to implement the next level programmes”, an indication that the ministerial list is as god as having been passed.
Perhaps, based on the discussion with the President on the sidelines, he had said, ”I will receive the ministerial list on Wednesday from the Presidency”. A Presidency source alluded to it when he said ” all things being equal. the Senate will receive the list on Thursday morning”, that mat may end the two months of waiting for the submission of the ministerial list to the Senate for Consideration.
A Principal officer in the National Assembly, however, confirmed that the Cabinet list is already with the Senate President, but had kept it close to his chest to avoid being put under pressure by those may want to confirm whether their name s are truly on the list has been rumored or based on the list being circulated. The source confirmed that the Cabinet list would be made public next Thursday for a public hearing.
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