…PDP leaders who worked for APC rewarded
BY CHARLES KUMOLU, Deputy Editor
An investigation by Sunday Vanguard reveals that President Muhammadu Buhari’s preference for mostly career politicians in his 43-man ministerial list was mainly a reward for loyalty and a step towards putting All Progressives Congress, APC, war horses in vantage positions across the states. In doing that, President Buhari was said to have worked mainly with some advisers who wield influence, as well as minor inputs from other sources.
Longevity in power
Though the party leadership and some powerful non-executive chieftains of the APC were carried along, the President made more contributions, accounting for the return of those described as his men with the exception of one.
Multiple sources told Sunday Vanguard that the survival of the party and its longevity in power played key roles in choosing the ministerial nominees across the states.
The calculation was that the party needed strong politicians as ministers, especially in non-APC states to have a strong presence.
This may have accounted for the return of the following among the President’s men: Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Chris Ngige, Ogbonnaya Onu, and Geoffery Onyeama.
There are also new entrants like former, Benue State governor, Sen George Akume; Sen Godswill Akpabio, Temipre Sylva, Paulen Tallen, Mr Uche Oga, Mr Jedy Agba and Emeka Nwajuba, who was said to have been an ally of President Buhari since the days of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
It was gathered that Chief Great Ogboru would have made the list of those appointed to build party presence in states where opposition party governs, but for the preference for Mr Festus Keyamo, who contributed immensely to the party’s success. The party leadership was said to have strongly lobbied for Ogboru.
Choice of APC leadership
A similar thing happened in choosing a nominee from Imo State where Sen Hope Uzodinma was the choice of APC leadership.
In Ogun, the selection of Mr Olamilekan Adegbite was gathered to be a compensation for the immediate past governor of the state, Sen Ibikunle Amosun.
President Buhari was said to have conceded the Ogun slot to Amosun, to make up for the loss of the governorship ticket to the incumbent governor, Dapo Abiodun, who was backed by APC elders in the state.
Sunday Vanguard was also informed that former Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who was renominated was not sponsored by the party, but the President. The state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki was said to have lobbied for Sen Domingo Obende but lost out to the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who nominated Mr Clem Agba, a former Commissioner for Works in the state. The name of a member of the House of Representatives, Patrick Obahiagbon was also among those forwarded.
Secretly worked for APC
It was further learned that deals were made with even opposition leaders, who were said to have secretly worked for the APC during the presidential election.
One of such leaders, Sunday Vanguard learned, is a state governor in the South, who was said to be currently upset over the non-appointment of his choice of ministerial nominee.
An impeccable source also revealed that the nomination of a former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo, didn’t come easy following what was described as external moves to have someone else appointed.
What was described as the former governor’s commitment to the party in addition to inputs by some respected APC leaders, made his selection possible?
The same foreign influence nearly played out in Ogun State.