Ministerial List: Why Buhari Failed To Control Former Ministers?

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 non-realisation of his electioneering Campaign promises.

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 and politicitians.

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,, Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and later minister of Transportation, who was said to have been reassigned to his former ministry , Chris Ngige, another former minister and a one- time governor of Anambra state, who may Head the ministry of Communication and Hadi Sirika, a former minister of state, Aviation, from kastina, the President Home state, who was said to have been reassigned to his old potfolio.

Ahmed Lawan: Senate Prsident

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 alarm that he was under tremendous pressure from certain quarters to overthrow former President Goodluck Goodluck Jonathan, but vowed that he would never allow himself to be used to truncate the country’s nascent Democracy.

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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