Ex-Governors, senators, other APC chieftains lobby for ministerial slots

June 25, 2023
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The race on who becomes minister in the administration of President Bola Tinubu will take centre stage this week as state chapters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have compiled names of persons nominated for ministerial slots from their various states.

According to reliable sources, the lists are set to be forwarded to the party’s secretariat in Abuja for onward transmission to President Tinubu, who will decide on the shortlist and unveil the names of ministers and their portfolios any time soon.

President Bola Tinubu, who took over power on May 29, has less than 33 days left to unveil the list of his ministers according to new law assented to by former President Muhammadu Buhari on March 17, 2023.

While President Tinubu has been enjoying public acceptance following his recent appointments, there are worries that party loyalists rather than competent individuals may occupy the ministerial seats.

Findings indicated that some of the party chieftains, including ex-governors and former lawmakers who lost out in the February 25 election, have been sighted frequently at the APC National Secretariat in the past few weeks.

Their sudden appearances at the secretariat in the nation’s capital are being construed as an apparent jostling for ministerial positions.

Others did not show up in Abuja, but their names are strongly mentioned as likely candidates to appear on the ministerial list. This category includes former.

READ ALSOBuhari’s legacy puts Tinubu in tight spot

Governors Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.

Similarly, there are speculations that former Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike, currently a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, is contemplating defecting to the ruling party for a subsequent appointment.

States chapters of APC are also contending for slots as compensation for their contribution to Tinubu’s presidential victory.

The immediate past Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ibrahim Gobir, is being considered for a ministerial slot in Sokoto State, while party members in Osun State are rooting for the immediate past governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, to be named a minister.

A party source who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that some party members who did not win the last general election but toiled tirelessly to ensure Bola Tinubu’s victory on February 25 will be rewarded with ministerial jobs or other high-ranking positions.

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READ ALSONigeria’s financial system ‘rotten’ under Emefiele, says Tinubu

“There are some people who were not members of our party but fought a good fight to ensure that Asiwaju won that election; should Tinubu now abandon them and go for those who didn’t do anything just because they are party members? No, it doesn’t work like that.

Iorfa Thomas, a leader in the ruling party and a former senatorial candidate in Benue’s Zone C senatorial district, claimed that Tinubu will have a good cabinet that will provide Nigerians with the desired level of governance.

According to him, previous appointments made by the president are a good indicator of how his ministers will also be appointed.

He said: “President Tinubu will not disappoint Nigerians; even though he does not have enough time, Nigerians should expect capable people in his cabinet. It is not about spending the whole year looking for a capable person. I believe he already knows those he can work with.”

He said further: “If you look at his recent appointments, you will see that the president balanced them by going to different regions. He is going to make sure that nobody is left out.

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