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MINISTERS: High-wire intrigues delaying Buhari’s list

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By Clifford Ndujihe

THIRTY-TWO days after he was sworn-in for second term, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to make public the list of his ministerial nominees.

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Sources said a deep-seated tug-of-war between two camps —one led by North-West governor and another led by key member of President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet— is delaying the much expected list.

According to sources, while the governor’s camp is in favour of fresh hands as ministers to drive the president’s next level agenda, the kitchen cabinet member’s camp wants most of the out-gone ministers retained to “reward them for their loyalty and support for the president at the last elections, which led to his re-election.”

However, the governor’s camp countered that most of the immediate past governors did not deliver at the polls and added to the barrage of criticisms the president is facing on account of their poor performance.

In his first term, it took President Buhari six months to name his ministers. Shortly after his inauguration, President Buhari assured Nigerians that ministers would be named in record time.

Last week, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said: “Nigerians will not have to wait a day longer than necessary before they have a cabinet. And as the president himself has said the process won’t take as long as it did in 2015, because the circumstances are not the same.”

Indeed, the circumstances are not the same so also are the challenges. But for the tussle between the governor and the president’s close aide, the list would have been ready.

However, it is to be seen if the president would yield to the governor or a member of his kitchen cabinet. He is likely to submit the list this week.

Indeed, sources said the list, which is closely guarded by the president, is ready and would submitted soon.

Some names said to be on the list include: Boss Mustapha; Abubakar Malami, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF; Hadi Sirika, former Minister of State Aviation; immediate past Governor of Lagos, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; former Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu; and immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, among others.

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