Ministerial Appointments: The Battle Rages

By Starrys Obazei | July 5, 2023.
starrys@ddnewsonline.com

The much-anticipated list of Tinubu’s cabinet members is causing anxiety among Nigerians. From all indications, the battle to make the final list may soon be over, and those who are going to lose out to be settled with boards and parastatals’ appointments, exclusively reported by Paparazzipressng.com

A peep into the list compiled and undergoing the vetting process by the relevant agencies revealed the old ACN members have dominated the list of nominees from the South-West zone while conceding the nominees to other members of the legacy parties that existed before the formation of the APC.

A prominent member from Ekiti State Prince Dayo Adeyeye was included in the list. He is being rewarded for pioneering the South-West Agenda, SWAGA, for 2023, reputed to have flagged off the presidential aspiration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, PBAT.

In Osun State, Mr. Oyetola and Chief Femi Fani Kayode made up the list. There is a strong possibility for the former Governor to be reassigned for nomination as the position of Central Bank Governor, bearing in mind his pedigree and cognate experience in the banking industry. His experience in the First Bank of Nigeria Plc is an added advantage. Dr. Tunji Abayomi and Chief Olusola Oke are locking horns for the Ondo State slot.

In the Northern frontiers, some interest groups made the exclusion of the immediate past Governors of their states the kernel of their demand. They posited that the former Governors collected funds from PBAT during the campaigns but failed to disburse the same to the people at the grassroots. A source close to the Villa revealed that “their claims might be valid but Asiwaju knows the best decision to take in the present circumstances”.

North West Zone

Comrade Salihu Lukman, APC National Vice Chairman of the zone, is the nominee from Kaduna State. In the case of Kano State Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is the nominee but an additional slot is being conceded for the immediate past Governor Ganduje to nominate someone to take the position. The case of the nominee from Sokoto is being awaited by Sen Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako. The fate of the nominee from Zamfara State is in the hands of the doyen of state politics Sen Ahmed Sani Yarima. The nominee being lobbied for by Alhaji Ibrahim Masari, the placeholder of the Vice Presidential Candidate of the party then before the emergence of Sen Kashim Shettima as the substantive nominee of the VP ticket.

The Jigawa State nominee is being speculated as a serving functionary from the state in the Federal Government to be revealed soon. Learned that his state Governor is not against his nomination because he mobilized support for the President not only in his domain but in other places. He is a workaholic and committed supporter of Mr. President excluding tremendous goodwill and supported by grassroots-oriented politicians in the state. The immediate past Governor of the state was rejected because he failed to deliver his area for the President during the polls.

There is a consultation for the Kebbi nominee with Governor Atiku Bagudu likely to be the only one among his peers to cross the nomination hurdle.

North East Zone
No

Sen Mohammed Dambu and Hon Tijani Tumsah, the pioneer National Secretary of the party are locking horns for the only available slot.

The nomination for Borno State goes to Sen Abubakar Kyari, the Deputy National Chairman North of the party. Both the Vice President, Sen Kashim Shettima, and Gov Umara Zulum have endorsed it.

The nomination for Taraba State is inching towards Sen Emmanuel Bwatcha, a popular politician and the governorship candidate of the party during the last elections.

The struggle for the Bauchi State slot is a straight fight between Malam Isa Yugudu, one minister and two-term Governor of the state. And Mr. Ali Pate, former minister and an employee of the Bretton Woods. The two of them are laying claims to being technocrats.

Gombe State slot is being struggled between Alhaji Farouk Bamusa, Sen Idris Umar, and Alhaji Jamilu Isiyaka Gwamna.

Adamawa slot is being considered for either the husband of Sen Aisha Binani, in the person of Dr. Ahmed Moddibo, or Sen Jonathan Zangwina, a prominent politician and a strong member of the Chief MKO Abiola campaign in 1993.

North Central

Kwara State slot is going to either Prof Ishaq Olorode or Comrade Isa Aremu, any of them is a perfect choice in terms of prudence, honesty, capacity, and astute lifestyle.

Niger State is tilting towards Prof Yahaya Kuta, once Secretary to the state government and an academician from the University of Ibadan. His capacity is unlimited and his ability to communicate because of his multilingual endowment is an added advantage. The big men from his state gave their blessings to his nomination.

The Nasarawa State nomination is still being discussed. The National Chairman of the party Sen Abdullahi Adamu and the Governor are all interested in picking a nominee. However, one Barr Labaran Magaji from Toto, a reputed grassroots politician is making a wave and one Hon Musa Wayo, a former Local Government Chairman and a close political associate of PBAT over the years is being considered too.

Benue State is for the SGF Chief George Akume to decide. Hon Emmanuel Jime is a strong contender. While in the case of Plateau, the nominee is being discussed due to the failure of the immediate past Governor of the state Barr Solomon Lalong to do anything politically spectacular during the polls. He is pushing for Hon Yakubu Datti, a one-time Commissioner in the state. Both the SGF and former Governor Dariye are going to find a suitable nominee.

Kogi State nominee is completely at the discretion of Governor Yahaya Bello. He performed above average during the polls and has absolute confidence in PBAT.

South-East
Imo State nominee is Sir Mike Okiro, one-time Inspector General of Police. His path and PBAT crossed when both served in Lagos as Governor and Commissioner of Police. They have had a cordial relationship since then that endured to date. Men like Okiro are needed to help the party win the forthcoming governorship election in Imo State and also help stabilize the region for the administration.

Enugu State slot is going to Hon Emma Enekwu, Deputy National Chairman South of the APC. He has been consistent since the ANPP days.

Anambra State slot is for Dr. Andy Uba being the most visible politician from the state that identified himself with PBAT for some time now. His nomination will help douse the opposition of OBJ to PBAT and erode the home base support for Peter Obi. Sen Uche Ukwunife is being considered based on gender consideration and non-controversial posture.

Abia State slot is speculated to be inching towards Chief Mac Wabara, a reputable banker, cosmopolitan, and a Lagos Boy, so to speak. The Yoruba language is the dominant language in his household. He will communicate seamlessly with the President due to personal touch and language affinity.

Ebonyi State is being determined by Sen Dave Umahi. He is the last bus stop as far as Ebonyi’s nomination is concerned. He is enjoying an excellent relationship with Mr. President.

South South

Rivers State slot is for Governor Nyesom Wike. Because PBAT doesn’t betray friendship and always rewards loyalty. Wike has done a yeoman’s job during the Presidential polls in the state.

Cross River State slot is being slugged out between Sen John Onwah. He saved the party from crisis when he accepted wise counseling from PBAT. Sacrificed his governorship ambition in support of the eventual winner Sen Bassey Otu. The second person in the struggle is a young lady staff of NNPC. She has consistently identified with PBAT right from the ACN days. Her husband a serving top ranking Police Officer ensured the election was not rigged against the APC during the polls. The hush criticism against the National Woman Leader of the APC, Mrs. Betty Edu is only a crossvein by marriage but an indigene of Ebonyi State.

Akwa Ibom State ministerial nominee is to be collaborated by the Senate President, Chief Godswill Akpabio. The name of Chief Dan Abia, former Managing Director NDDC rings a bell in the list among other strong contenders.

Delta State is a straight fight between Barr Festus Keyamo, Chief Frank Kokori, and Dr. Felix Morka, National Publicly Secretary of the APC.

Bayelsa State nominee is expected to have the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan. He is having a cordial relationship with PBAT. One Chief Davekeme Ikwigwa is likely among the lucky persons.

Edo State slot is for Comrade Adams Oshimhole to decide. It is certain that the candidate is coming from the Bini stock to help the party in tackling Gov Obaseki during the fourth gubernatorial elections in the state.

Lastly, the case of the Federal Capital Territory is very interesting. PBAT is consulting widely relevant stakeholders including Sen Sidi Ali and Hon Isa Rahma on the possibility of giving FCT a ministerial slot.

Others being considered for appointment are long-time core loyalists of PBAT. In the civil rights community and the defunct Alliance for Democracy, a political platform that predated the formation of Action Congress. The majority of them were outside the South-West but stood by him in several political battles and requested compensation from the President. Prince Dayo Adeyeye is one of them as mentioned earlier. Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, former Military Governor of Kaduna State, and a prominent figure in the June 12 struggle is being considered for the slot of Kebbi. Another prominent person is Col Lawal Gwadabe, detained alongside Gen Shehu Yar’ Adua. He deployed everything during the campaign. His nomination is likely to be seen as compensation for the camp of Abacha detainees on account of OBJ’s refusal to do anything for them. There is Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele from Edo State that has been very consistent with him, a foremost promoter of the traditional institutions and former media Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, a core loyalist, advocate, and foot soldier of the President. He has written several articles in his defense and projected the coming Asiwaju presidency since 1999 and played a key role in the 2023 Presidential election. He is being nominated as Minister from Edo State. Then Mr Yunana Shibkau, former National Financial Secretary of the AD, from Zamfara State as SSA on Christian matters to further appease the Northern Christians. Comrade Umar Farouk, former National Publicity Secretary of the Alliance exposed the face of the woman behind the invented certificate forgery against PBAT published by the Kaduna-based Today Communication newspapers. Also stood by him during the Hausa/ OPC crisis in Lagos. He is being considered for SA Technical. The last person on the list is Ambassador Yusuf Mamman, former National Chairman of AD, an experienced diplomat, exemplary scholar, and security expert who lived a bohemian lifestyle, and founder of “Radio Chanji” in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. He is being considered for Minister of Foreign Affairs.

From all indications, the interested persons are
intensifying their moves. Everything seems totally dependent on the discretion of PBAT. But whichever way it goes,
one thing is certain, there is not going to be a dull cabinet under this
administration

The decision is not only going to unify the party but consolidate the grip of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on power. It will further help the party to regain political momentum beyond the states under the control of the ruling party. As the President has consistently said ” he will definitely reward people that have been with him for years and have shown loyalty at all times,” ‘what would he tell Nigerians if he was asked the price of loyalty, as these set of persons have remained faithful without asking for anything from him, but work and work for the common good of the country.’

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