Mixed re­ac­tions over Buhari’s min­sters

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Hamza Idris, Muideen Olaniyi, Saawua Terzungwe (Abuja) & Ab­du­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

The sealed en­ve­lope sent to the Na­tional Assem­bly, on Wed­nes­day, last week, con­tain­ing list of 21 prospec­tive min­is­ters that would form Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s cab­i­net was yesterday un­veiled by the Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Bukola Abubakar Saraki.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts be­lieve that con­trary to wide­spread belief, the list did not elicit much sur­prise, es­pe­cially when viewed from spec­u­la­tions that trailed the long awaited re­lease.

Sim­i­larly, more than half of the nom­i­nees are fa­mil­iar names and stal­warts of the rul­ing All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), a de­vel­op­ment that raised fresh con­cerns that Buhari vowed to mount­ing pres­sure from his party.

How­ever, now that the list is out, pun­dits be­lieve that some of the nom­i­nees would find it dif­fi­cult to scale through screen­ing at the Se­nate.

A Pro­fes­sor of po­lit­i­cal science and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, Has­san Sal­ihu, said that from the po­lit­i­cal point of view, the min­is­te­rial list of Buhari was in or­der.

How­ever, he said the list be­trayed the ex­pec­ta­tions of Nige­ri­ans who had ex­pected the pres­i­dent to nom­i­nate fresh faces.

“From the point of view of pol­i­tics, I think he has acted well but from the point of view of change that peo­ple are ex­pect­ing, it is pos­si­ble that some peo­ple may not be too pleased be­cause if a man has served as gover­nor for eight years and he is now be­ing called upon to come and be min­is­ter, are we say­ing there are no good Nige­ri­ans again?

“And if the pres­i­dent has taken four months, cer­tainly the ex­pec­ta­tion of Nige­ri­ans is that he would bring in to­tally new set of peo­ple to re­flect the change mantra that the party made too much noise about dur­ing the cam­paign.”

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Mo­hammed Musa, a po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, the al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion against some of the nom­i­nees will come to play dur­ing their screen­ing.

“Also, from the list, it is ev­i­dent that some of the nom­i­nees are not in good terms with the gover­nors of their states and some of the sen­a­tors from their states. I only pray that this will not cause a grid­lock.

“Hon­estly speak­ing, if the claims made by Buhari that he wants to bring on­board peo­ple that are like an­gels, I did not ex­pect to see some of the names we saw. I am sure the pres­i­dent had vowed to pres­sure from cer­tain quar­ters.”

Ju­naidu Mo­hammed, a public com­men­ta­tor said it is pre­ma­ture for any­one to con­demn any of the min­is­te­rial nom­i­nees.

“Giv­ing the sys­tem we are go­ing to op­er­ate, the min­is­ters would be less pow­er­ful than they used to be be­cause they would work much closer with the peo­ple in the civil ser­vice.”

On its part, the APC said all is well.

The deputy na­tional chair­man of the party, Engi­neer Se­gun Oni, said: “We feel very good. When you talk of party, you can go through the list. You will see that a lot of party lead­ers fea­tured promi­nently in the list. You will see that this is re­ally a cab­i­net that is made up of peo­ple who are re­spected within the party, peo­ple who have con­trib­uted their quota.”

But the PDP said there was noth­ing ex­cit­ing about the list.

The party in a state­ment yesterday by its na­tional pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary, Chief Olisa Me­tuh, said it was hard to ex­plain why Pres­i­dent Buhari took much time in nam­ing his cab­i­net.

The party said the list and the length of time it took have fur­ther con­firmed that the APCled ad­min­is­tra­tion is “driven by pro­pa­ganda and de­ceit, a de­vel­op­ment that raises doubts on the sin­cer­ity of its anti-cor­rup­tion cru­sade.”

Based on con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sion, Buhari would have to send ad­di­tional 15 names so that each of the 36 states in the coun­try would have a min­is­ter.

“May be we would see the an­gels we are yearn­ing for in the forth­com­ing list,” said Bar­ris­ter Idris Aliyu, a le­gal prac­ti­tioner. The nom­i­nees are: Abubakar Malami (SAN): Is a con­sti­tu­tional lawyer who is among those that played prom­i­nent role in the for­ma­tion of the APC in 2013. Fol­low­ing the de­lay in reg­is­ter­ing the party, he told the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) that the merg­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties seek­ing to be reg­is­tered as APC have crossed the con­sti­tu­tional hur­dles.

He said: “The po­si­tion of the law is clear on this. INEC is ex­pected to make pro­nounce­ment on party’s re­quest for reg­is­tra­tion within 30 days. If the elec­toral body re­fuses to make a pro­nounce­ment at the end of 30 days, such a party is deemed to have been reg­is­tered be­cause the op­er­a­tive word in this re­gard is within 30 days and not oth­er­wise.”

Ab­du­rah­man Bello Dam­bazau: Ab­dul­rah­man Bello Dam­bazau is a re­tired Nige­rian Army Lieu­tenan­tGen­eral who served as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) dur­ing the reign of late Pres­i­dent Umaru Yar’adua. He is from Kano State and has been vis­i­ble through­out the APCs pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. Sources say he re­mains ac­tive in giv­ing pro­fes­sional ad­vice to the pres­i­dent on se­cu­rity is­sues. In fact, at the ini­tial stage of the Buhari’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, many peo­ple thought Dam­bazau would be made the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser.

Aisha Al-Has­san: Pop­u­larly known as Mama Taraba, she would have been the first fe­male gover­nor in Nige­ria. She was a sen­a­tor who rep­re­sented Taraba North con­stituency of Taraba State un­der the PDP but later de­camped to the APC and be­came the gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date of Taraba State for the 2015 gen­eral elec­tions. She was de­feated in the elec­tion re-run held on 25th of April 2015.

Al­haji Lai Mo­hammed: For some rea­sons, very few peo­ple ex­pected that Lai Mo­hammed will make the min­is­te­rial list of Buhari. He is an out­spo­ken lawyer, and as the na­tional pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary of the APC, he has de­fended the ac­tions and in­ac­tions of the APC.

Ba­batunde Raji Fashola: A for­mer gover­nor of La­gos, from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015, is a no­tary public of the Supreme Court of Nige­ria and one of those that played ac­tive role in the for­ma­tion of the APC. Observers be­lieved that his re­cent tra­vails with the APC leader, Bola Ahmed Tin­ubu, and Gover­nor Am­bode would scut­tle his dream of be­com­ing a min­is­ter but all is now history.

Ade­bayo Shittu: He is from Oyo State and was among those spec­u­lated to be min­is­ters. A lawyer by pro­fes­sion, Shittu came to the APC from the CPC wing and stood by his party firmly. He re­port­edly re­fused to de­camp, even when he con­tested and lost the gu­ber­na­to­rial pri­mary poll in the last elec­tion.

Solomon Da­long: Is from Plateau State and equally a lawyer, ac­tivist and a univer­sity lec­turer. He had stood by the mi­nori­ties in Plateau State through­out the cri­sis pe­riod. A se­ri­ous sup­porter of Pres­i­dent Buhari, Da­long lost to the in­cum­bent gover­nor of the state dur­ing the pri­mary elec­tion. He had served in Buhari’s tran­si­tion com­mit­tee.

Sen­a­tor Chris Ngige:

A staunch loy­al­ist of Buhari, observers sug­gested that if not for the fact that he failed in his bid to re­turn to the Se­nate, Ngige would have been the Se­nate pres­i­dent in the 8th Assem­bly. He was gover­nor of Anam­bra State from May 29, 2003, to March 17, 2006, un­der the PDP.

A med­i­cal doc­tor by pro­fes­sion, Ngige’s elec­tion was nul­li­fied by a tri­bunal.

Ro­timi Amaechi: If trou­ble at one’s home state will deny such a per­son ac­cess to any op­por­tu­nity at the na­tional stage, Amaechi, a for­mer gover­nor of Rivers State, would have been a vic­tim. It is be­lieved that his ‘stub­born­ness’ worked well for him dur­ing his ‘war’ with for­mer first lady, Dame Pa­tience Jonathan, that cul­mi­nated into his dump­ing of the PDP.

Amaechi had played vi­brant role in the for­ma­tion of the APC and was the di­rec­tor-gen­eral of Buhari’s cam­paign or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Rivers State gover­nor, Nye­som Wike, had set up a panel to probe the N8.45 bil­lion al­legedly spent by Amaechi on the Jus­tice Adol­phus Karibi-Whyte Hos­pi­tal.

Be­fore now, there were in­sin­u­a­tions that he will not make the min­is­te­rial list.

Chief Audu Og­beh: He was the na­tional chair­man of the PDP from 2001 un­til Jan­uary 2005 when he was al­legedly forced to re­sign due to his crit­i­cism of Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo’s han­dling of a cri­sis in Anam­bra State. An in­di­gene of Benue State, he was ap­pointed min­is­ter of com­mu­ni­ca­tions in 1982 and later be­came min­is­ter of steel de­vel­op­ment.

Sen­a­tor Udo Udoma: He was elected sen­a­tor for the Akwa-Ibom South con­stituency of Akwa-Ibom State in 1999 un­der the PDP and was re­elected in April 2003 un­der the PDP plat­form.

Sen­a­tor Hadi Serika: He said to be an ar­dent sup­porter of Buhari. A re­tired pi­lot from Katsina State, Serika was a sen­a­tor who rep­re­sented Katsina North Sen­a­to­rial Dis­trict.

Ibrahim Us­man Jubrin: He is from Nasarawa State and is said to be a de­pend­able and highly prin­ci­pled tech­no­crat who was work­ing with the Abuja Ge­o­graphic In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (AGIS). He is now at the Nasarawa State Ge­o­graphic In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem.

Dr. Og­bon­naya Onu: A for­mer gover­nor of old Abia State and one of the na­tional lead­ers of the APC. He is also a for­mer na­tional chair­man of the de­funct All Nige­ria Peo­ples Party (ANPP) which merged to form the cur­rent gov­ern­ing party in Nige­ria. In fact, he was the party’s chair­man who led the ANPP in the merger talks. He strug­gled to en­sure that the peo­ple of the South-east geopo­lit­i­cal zone em­braced the APC ahead of the 2015 gen­eral elec­tions.

Ahmed Isa Ibeto: He is the im­me­di­ate deputy gover­nor of Niger State who was ejected from the weekly cab­i­net meet­ing for dump­ing the PDP for APC on Jan­uary 19 this year. Ibeto said he left the PDP be­cause of in­jus­tice and lack of in­ter­nal democ­racy. He is an his­to­rian, who be­came lo­cal gov­ern­ment chair­man at the age of 28, shortly af­ter com­plet­ing his na­tional youth ser­vice.

Mrs Amina Mo­hammed: She was born of a Nige­rian fa­ther from Gombe and a Bri­tish mother from Wales. She was ed­u­cated in Nige­ria from the age of 2 in Birnin Kebbi, Kaduna and Maiduguri be­fore fin­ish­ing in the Isle of Man. She has been in Nige­ria since 1980 and re­port­edly set up the Afri-projects Con­sor­tium with 4 other male col­leagues.

She was asked by for­mer pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo to come and de­sign a mech­a­nism to spend the debt re­lief Nige­ria ac­quired in 2005 on poverty re­lated pro­grammes.

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. He is from Delta State and was re­cently ap­pointed as the group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC).

Kachikwu was the ex­ec­u­tive vice chair­man and gen­eral coun­sel of Exxon-Mo­bil (Africa). He is a first class grad­u­ate of law from the Univer­sity of Nige­ria, Nsukka and the Nige­rian Law School. The new NNPC chief ex­ec­u­tive also has master’s and doc­tor­ate de­grees in law from the Har­vard Law School.

Mrs. Kemi Adeo­sun: She was a for­mer com­mis­sioner for fi­nance in Ogun State. Mrs. Adeo­sun is an eco­nom­ics grad­u­ate and a mem­ber of the In­sti­tutes of Char­tered Ac­coun­tants, Eng­land and Wales, with over 23 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence gained in the United King­dom and Nige­ria.

Eng. Suleiman Adamu: He is a civil engi­neer who grad­u­ated from Ah­madu Bello Univer­sity, Zaria, in 1984. He was prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant with Afri-Projects Con­sor­tium, man­age­ment con­sul­tants to the Petroleum (Spe­cial) Trust Fund, where he was ac­tively in­volved in the plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion of sev­eral na­tional in­fras­truc­tural projects in the health, ed­u­ca­tion, trans­porta­tion, agri­cul­ture, wa­ter re­sources and energy sec­tors.

Dr Kay­ode Fayemi: A for­mer gover­nor of Ek­iti State, he re­ceived de­grees in history, pol­i­tics and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions from the Univer­si­ties of La­gos and Ife in Nige­ria and his doc­tor­ate in War Stud­ies from the pres­ti­gious King’s Col­lege, Univer­sity of Lon­don, Eng­land, spe­cial­is­ing in civilmil­i­tary re­la­tions. He worked as a lec­turer, jour­nal­ist, re­searcher and strat­egy de­vel­op­ment ad­viser in Nige­ria and the United King­dom.

Dr. Osagie E. Ehanire: He is from Edo State and also an out­stand­ing sur­geon who holds an (MD) of col­lege of Medicine, Lud­wig Max­imil­lians Univer­sity, Mu­nich. He also holds post grad­u­ate diplo­mas from the Teach­ing Hos­pi­tal of the Univer­sity of Düs­sel­dorf and Essen, Ger­many in the ar­eas of anaes­the­si­ol­ogy, gen­eral surgery, and orthopaedic trauma surgery.

Chief John Oye­gun

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari

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