The long-awaited ministerial list of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been unveiled by the Nigerian Senate, and it has sent shockwaves through the nation’s political landscape.
On Thursday, Senate President Godswill Akpabio released the list comprising 28 ministerial nominees, and to the surprise of political observers, many of them were formerly members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Many of the nominees have a history of holding prominent positions in the PDP, having served as governors or ministers during the PDP’s reign when the party held sway at the national government.
Among the PDP ‘old boys’ who made the list are:
Dave Umadi was elected governor of Ebonyi State on the platform of the PDP until November 2020, when he formally defected to the All Progressives Congress.
The governor, who defected to the APC along with members of his cabinet, said the South-East geo-political zone has suffered injustice from the PDP.
Onyejocha was first elected in 2007 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, then Nigeria’s ruling party, to represent the Isuikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia State.
She defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2018 after coming under intense pressure from her former party leaders to drop her ambition for a return ticket to the House.
Onyejeocha served as Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation.
Senator Enoh represented Cross River Central under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2017.
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Former Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai was a prominent member of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, during the the President Olusegun Obasanjo Government.
El-Rufai was a super minister under Obasanjo, where he served as the FCT Minister.
Wike is the immediate past Governor of Rivers State.
He contested the PDP presidential ticket but lost to Atiku Abubakar, a development that pitched him against his party.
Wike was believed to have worked against his party during the 2023 presidential election in Rivers, where Bola Tinubu of the APC was declared the winner.
The final result saw Tinubu polling 231,593 votes while Obi got 175,555 votes.
Many were not surprised by the inclusion of Wike, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, who worked against his party during the 2023 presidential election.
However, the question remains if Wike will still remain a member of the PDP while he serves as a minister under the government of the opposition party or he will defect.
Critics argue that Wike’s outcry and actions following his defeat in the PDP presidential primary, where he lost the ticket to Atiku Abubakar, were driven by personal interests rather than the broader national interest.
As a result, they express skepticism about the intentions behind his appointment as a minister and speculate that it could signify the end of the PDP’s influence in the country.