The much-anticipated list of President Bola Ahmed 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 maybe settled with boards and parastatals’ appointments.
A peep into the list being compiled and undergoing vetting process by the relevant agencies revealed the old Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) members dominate the list of nominees from the SouthWest zone, while conceding the nominees to other members of the legacy parties that existed before the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A prominent member from Ekiti State Prince Dayo Adeyeye is believed to be 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 Tinubu.
In Osun State, Mr Oyetola and Femi Fani Kayode are also believed to have made 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 Olusola Oke are locking horns for the Ondo State slot.
In the Northern frontiers, some interest groups made exclusion of the immediate past governors of their states as the kernel of their demand. They posited that the governors collected funds from Tinubu during the campaigns, but failed to disburse same to the people at the grassroots.
One of them said “their claims might be valid, but Asiwaju knows the best decision to take in the present circumstances.”
North West Zone
Salihu Lukman, APC National Vice Chairman of the zone, is possibly the nominee from Kaduna State. In the case of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is believed to be among the nominees, but additional an 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 from Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako. The fate of the nominee from Zamfara State is in the hands of Ahmed Sani Yarima. The nominee being lobbied for by Ibrahim Masari, the placeholder of the Vice Presidential Candidate of the party then before the emergence of Kashim Shettima as the substantive nominee of the Vice Presidential ticket.
The Jigawa State nominee is being speculated as a serving functionary from the state in the Federal Government to be revealed soon. It was learnt that his state governor is not against his nomination because he mobilised support for the President not only in his domain, but in other places.
“He is a workaholic and committed supporter of Mr. President excuding 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,” a party chieftain said.
There is consultation for the Kebbi nominee with former governor Atiku Bagudu likely to be the only one among his peers to cross the nomination hurdle.
North East Zone
Mohammed Dambu and Tijani Tumsah, the pioneer National Secretary of the party are locking horns for the only available slot.
The nomination for Borno State may go to Senator Abubakar Kyari, the Deputy National Chairman North of the party. Both the Vice President, Kashim Shettima and Governor Umara Zulum have allegedly endorsed it.
The nomination for Taraba State is inching towards Senator Emmanuel Bwatcha, a popular policitian and the governorship candidate of the party during the last elections.
The struggle for the Bauchi State slot is believed to be a straight fight between Malam Isa Yugudu, one minister and two term governor of the state, and Ali Pate, former minister and an employee of the Breten Woods. The two of them are laying claims to being technocrats.
Gombe State slot is being battled by Farouk Bamusa, Senator Idris Umar and Jamilu Isiyaka Gwamna.
Adamawa slot is believed to be considered for either the husband of Senator Aisha Binani, Dr Ahmed Moddibo or Senator Jonathan Zangwina, a prominent policitian and a strong member of the Chief MKO Abiola campaign in 1993.
Kwara State slot is likely going to either Professor Ishaq Olorode or Isa Aremu. “Any of them is a perfect choice in terms of prudence, honesty, capacity and astute life style,” a party member said.
Niger State is likely tilting towards Professor Yahaya Kuta, one time Secretary to the state government and an academician from the University of Ibadan.
“His capacity is unlimited and ability to communicate because of multilingual endowment as an added advantage. The big men from his state gave their blessings to his nomination,” a close ally said.
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Nasarawa State nomination is still being discussed. The National Chairman of the party Senator Abdullahi Adamu and the governor are all interested in picking a nominee. However, one Labaran Magaji from Toto, a reputed grassroots politician is making waves and one Musa Wayo, a former Local Government Chairman and a close political associate of Tinubu over the years are being considered too.
Benue State is for George Akume to decide. Emmanuel Jime is a strong contender. While in case of Plateau, the nominee is being discussed due to the failure of the immediate past governor of the state Solomon Lalong to do anything politically spectacular during last the polls. He is pushing for Yakubu Datti, a one time commissioner in the state. Both the Akume and former governor Joshua 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 of Tinubu.
Imo State nominee is possibly Mike Okiro, one time Inspector-General of Police. His path and that of Tinubu crossed when both served in Lagos as Governor and commissioner of Police respectively. They have had a cordial relationship since then that endured till date.
“Men like Okiro are needed to help the party win the forth coming governorship election in Imo State and also help stabilise the region for the administration,” a friend noted.
Enugu State slot is likely going to Emma Enekwu, Deputy National Chairman, South of the APC.
Anambra State slot is likely for Andy Uba being the most visible politician from the state that identified himself with Tinubu for sometime now. His nomination, many believe, will help douse the opposition of Olusegun Obasanjo to Tinubu nd erode the home base support for Peter Obi. Uche Ukwunife is being considered based on gender consideration and non-controversial posture.
Abia State slot is speculated to be inching towards Mac Wabara, a reputable banker, cosmopolitan and a Lagos boy.
“Yoruba language is the dominant language in his household. He will communicate seamlessly with the President due to personal touch and language affinity,” an ally said.
Ebonyi State is being determined by Dave Umahi. He is the last bus stop as far as Ebonyi nomination is concerned. He is enjoying an excellent relationship with Mr. President.
Rivers State slot is possibly former governor Nyesom Wike. Tinubu doesn’t betray friendship and always rewards loyalty. Wike has done a yeoman’s job during the presidential polls in the state,” Wike’s man said.
Cross River State slot is being considered for Senator John Onwah. He saved the party from crisis when he accepted a wise counseling from Tinubu and 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 Tinubu 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 Crossverian by marriage, but an indigene of Ebonyi State.
Akwa Ibom State ministerial nominee is to be handled by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio. The name of Dan Abia, former Managing Director of NDDC rings a bell in the list among other strong contenders.
Delta State is a straight fight between Festus Keyamo, Frank Kokori and Felix Morka, National Publicly Secretary of the APC.
Bayelsa State nominee is being expected to have the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan. He has a cordial relationship with Tinubu. One Davekeme Ikwigwa is likely among the lucky persons.
Edo State slot is for Adams Oshimhole to decide. It is certain that the candidate is coming from the Bini stock to help the party in tackling Governor Godwin Obaseki during the forth gubernatorial elections in the state.
Lastly, the case of the Federal Capital Territory is very interesting. Tinubu is consulting widely with relevant stakeholders, including Senator Sidi Ali and Isa Rahma on the possibility of giving FCT a ministerial slot.
Others being considered for appointment are long time core loyalists of Tinubu. In civil rights community and the defunct Alliance for Democracy, a political platform that predated the formation of Action Congress, many are being considered.
Majority of them outside the South West, but stood by Tinubu are being considered. Prince Dayo Adeyeye is one of them as mentioned earlier. Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, former Military governor of Kaduna State, a prominent figure in the June 12 struggle is being considered for the slot of Kebbi.
Another prominent person is Col Lawal Gwadabe, detained along side General Shehu Yar’ Adua. He deployed everything during the campaign. His nomination is likely to be seen as compensation for the camp of Sani Abacha detainees on account of Obasanjo’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 defence and projected the coming Asiwaju presidency since 1999 and played key roles in the 2023 Presidential election.
He is being nominated as minister from Edo State.
From all indications, the interested persons are intensifying their moves. Everything seems totally dependent at the discretion of Tinubu, but whichever way it goes, one thing is certain, there is no going to be a dull cabinet under this administration.