Photo: President Bola Tinubu edits list.
Tinubu’s ministerial list elicits anxiety among serving govs, ex-govs, others
President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial list has elicited anxiety among serving governors, former governors and other chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the President is said to have cleared his activities for Tuesday and Wednesday in a final move to review and finalise his ministerial list. Sources say that the President stopped receiving visitors for two days this week.
The President has till Friday, this week, to submit the list to the senate in line with the provisions of Section 42(a) of the constitution which states that, “The nomination of any person to the office of a Minister for confirmation by the Senate shall be done within sixty days after the date the President has taken the oath of office”. He was sworn in on May 29.
Sources also confirmed that even though most of the nominations are settled, there are states posing a challenge because of the candidates. Many of his associates are in the dark over the final list.
“The president is a chess player. He keeps most of his decisions to himself till last point,” a presidency source said.
There was a lot of speculation last week that the list had been sent to the senate but the upper chamber of the national assembly did not, as customary, discuss it.
Sources said that the imminent nomination of Abdullahi Ganduje, former governor of Kano state, as the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is one of the gaps Tinubu is trying to fill.
Ganduje had been pencilled down as a minister but the forced resignation of Adamu Abdullahi as chairman led to further adjustments of the list.
The president has been criticised for the delay in forming his cabinet. President Muhammadu Buhari did not name a cabinet until after five months after his inauguration in 2015 but there was no constitutional timeframe then.
There is palpable anxiety in the ranks of some former and serving governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and its leaders over the delay by President Bola Tinubu in releasing the final list of ministerial nominees.
There is also serious pressure on President Tinubu regarding the list. The President is under obligation, based on constitutional provision, to forward the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate within 60 days of his inauguration for screening and confirmation.
With only three days to the expiration of the 60-day window, some former governors and serving governors, some APC leaders and PDP leaders, who worked hard for the victory of President Tinubu in the February 25, 2023, elections are becoming agitated.
It was gathered that their anxiety is fueled by the information that the President has been editing the list he previously prepared and it appears that they are mounting pressure on Tinubu.
It was gathered that the President had given the APC governors the privilege to submit three names from their states, including technocrats from which he would select one out of the three. The party leaders were told to identify competent persons that would help drive the agenda of the government.
It was also learned that the President made it clear that he has an interest in Rivers, Kano and Lagos states and would like to personally choose ministerial nominees from the three states, while the Vice President, Kashim Shettima is said to have been given the leeway to nominate ministers from the North-East.
It was, however, gathered that in the case of Rivers State, the party leaders are divided as the majority of them have reportedly opposed the purported nomination of former governor, Nyesom Wike.
Those opposed to Wike, it was gathered, have officially written to President Tinubu, while some loyal party members who worked hard for APC victory, have threatened to dump the party should the President abandon those that laboured to ensure that the party existed in the state, despite what they described as the hostile environment created by the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
Sources further said that the President has persuaded party members to remain calm and has assured that those that will not make the ministerial list will be accommodated through other appointments.
According to media reports, quoting sources privy to the goings on in the presidency, the delay in releasing the list of the ministerial nominees has caused so much anxiety as ministerial lobbyists have practically relocated to Abuja since the past month.
Nonetheless, reports say that the President will meet the constitutional provision and would likely make the list available to the Senate on Tuesday.
“I can assure you that the list is still with the President and is likely going to be submitted on Tuesday. Rest, assured that immediately the Senate receives it on Tuesday, it will screen the list and confirm it between Wednesday and Thursday,” Vanguard quoted a source as saying.
It was also gathered on the ministerial nominee from Oyo State, the President has allowed Gov Seyi Makinde to produce the name following his contributions to the President’s electoral victory. Governor Makinde was among the G-5 PDP governors that worked against the presidential candidate of their party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
On some of the names that would likely make the list, the source said the President will bring in technocrats working with international and multinational organisations.
“Some of the names that would make the list will surprise you. Some of them are not known names in the country but they are technocrats that have made their marks internationally,” the source claimed.
Some known persons in the Labour Party, LP, and the PDP, who worked indirectly for the President’s emergence will also be part of the cabinet.