State chapters and the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been sidelined in the process of recommending the ministerial nominees as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is set to send his nominations to the National Assembly this week or next week.
NewsTimes reports that following the new amendment to the 1999 Constitution signed into law by former President Muhammadu Buhari, Tinunu and governors must submit the names of persons nominated as ministers or commissioners within 60 days of taking the oath of office for confirmation by the Senate or state House of Assembly.
President Tinubu was sworn-in on May 29, and already 42 days since coming on board.
According to The Guardian, some of the former governors that might have been penciled down to be part of the final list included the former governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai. Others are former governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Muhammad Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).
It was, however, gathered that former Ogun State governor, Senator Gbenga Daniel is favoured ahead of Senator Ibikunle Amosun for the ministerial list, while former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, is also being considered for a Foreign Affairs Minister role.
In Lagos State, where President Tinubu hails from, Senator Tokunbo Abiru, a former bank executive, is being primed to emerge as the new Finance Minister. It was gathered that his appointment as Minister will pave the way for former Lagos governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to replace him as the Senator representing Lagos East in the Red Chambers.
In Delta State, the crisis rocking the party in the South-south state has created uncertainty about who will be appointed minister following scheming between two camps – one led by former deputy senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege, and another spearheaded by Lauretta Onochie and Dr Cairo Ojougboh.
According to a reliable source: “From the top, the party may decide to pick Festus Keyamo, because he was presidential campaign spokesman and has been assisting the President to defend his case at the tribunal.”
But it was also gathered that another bloc is rooting for Otega Emerhor, with the support of Omo-Agege, since he (Omo-Agege) is still fighting to ‘reclaim’ his governorship mandate at the election tribunal.
Sources in Cross River State hinted that interested persons, including the immediate past governor, Prof. Ben Ayade; former senate leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; APC National Women Leader, Dr. Betta Edu; a governorship aspirant in this year’s elections, Senator John Owan Enoh; former party chairman and ambassador, Soni Abang; immediate past Board Chairman of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and one-time commissioner for Information, Akin Rocket, and renowned businessman and also a governorship aspirant, Ben Akak, are all battling to emerge as the ministerial nominee from the state.
The Guardian investigation revealed that Tinubu is ready to accommodate politicians and eggheads that could enable his administration to achieve national cohesion. It was gathered that in doing so, he may not rely solely on members of the party that worked for his success in the region.
So far, Tinubu has received ex-governors of Enugu and Abia states, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Okezie Ikpeazu. While it is not clear whether Ikpeazu could make the list, that of Ugwuanyi is said to be a done deal based on his closeness with Tinubu and his efforts to unite segments of the country as governor.
In Abia, however, there is a rift between former Minister, Uche Ogar, and the governorship candidate of the party in the 2023 elections, Ikechi Emenike, over control of the party.
The rift has divided members of the party. A source stated that the party might have submitted two lists of potential ministers to the president.
It was learned that though Ugwuanyi is not of the APC, his mien that has endeared him to all manner of people has become a factor that may earn him a place in the administration of Tinubu.
In Ebonyi, there are rumours that former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, may also make the list. Anyim’s closeness with the immediate past governor of the state, Dave Umahi, who will eventually have a say in who should be appointed from the state is said to be a factor.
For Imo state, it will be unlikely for Governor Uzodimma not to have a say in the choice of the minister to represent the state.
The crisis in Anambra APC might also make the president look elsewhere for his minister. Only last week, he held talks with the former National Publicity of the PDP, Olisa Metuh.