Saturday, 3 October 2015

Lobbying for second batch of ministerial nominees intensifies as Buhari shops for Kachikwu’s replacement.

As the President Muhammadu Buhari compiles the second list of ministerial nominees, there are strong indications that he is looking for a replacement for the  Group Managing Director for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ibe Kachikwu, who is believed to have been nominated the Minister of State for Petroleum, the Nation newspaper is reporting.

According to the paper, the thinking in the presidency is that Kachikwu may find handling both positions overwhelming.
Meanwhile, the Nation said jostle for the 15 slots yet to be submitted has become intense in some state which were not allegedly included in the fist batch Buhari sent to the senate on Wednesday.
Some of the state’s where lobbying was most intense are Ondo, Kogi, Abia, Enugu, Imo, Bayelsa, Borno, Cross River, Nasarawa, Yobe, Zamfara, Osun, Kaduna, Bauchi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Lagos
“Despite the fact that the President has set his own criteria, he is weighing options on the remaining candidates because of interplay of factors,” an unnamed source told the newspaper
“Although some aides are proposing the retention of the 42-man ministerial structure, others are urging the President to stick to the 36-team model prescribed by the 1999 Constitution.
“The submission of the first batch of 21 names to the Senate has heightened lobby for the remaining slots.”
It was gathered that governors, party leaders at all levels and associates have been trying to reach out to the President and “strategic aides.”
Another unnamed source told the newspaper: “For instance in Imo, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo wants the slot for a former Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Festus Odimegwu but Governor Rochas Okorocha is rooting for his in-law, Prof. Anthony Anwuka (a former vice chancellor).
“Also in contention is a former governorship candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) in 2011, Hon. Emeka Nwajuba.
“In Abia State, the jostle is between Buhari’s old associate, Ike Emenike and the party’s governorship candidate, Anyim Nzeribe, who is a loyalist of Governor Rochas Okorocha in the state.”
“Having been familiar with the politics of Kaduna, President Buhari is taking sole charge of the ministerial nominee from the state, based on certain indices.
“In fact, Governor Nasir el-Rufai is actually staying away from making any input in the nomination process. He has left the President and other stakeholders to sort it out.
“In Ondo State, the race for the ticket is between a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and a top politician from the state, who was an executive of a multinational company.
“In Osun, there are three candidates for the slot and Buhari is expected to pick one. They are ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola (recommended for his support and loyalty to Governor Rauf Aregbesola and APC); the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole and a prominent politician in the state.
“Apart from also being a favourite of Obasanjo, ex-Governor Oyinlola’s candidacy is also being promoted by some forces in APC.”
The list is allegedly longer in Enugu state.
The source, according to The Nation, added: “We have Comrade Osita Okechukwu, who is a reliable associate of Buhari. Although Okechukwu, the National Publicity Secretary of CNPP, who has not met Buhari since his inauguration, is said to be not too keen.
“But others vying for ministerial slot are ex-Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji (seeking a third term in FEC); APC National Vice Chairman, South-East, Emma Eneukwu; APC governorship candidate, Chief Okey Ezea and Chief Onyemuche Nnamani.
“In spite of the Kwara State slot going to the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki is still lobbying for the return of his “godson” and ex-minister of sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, who was the Deputy Chairman of the Strategy Committee for the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
Abdullahi was rated as an asset during the campaign, and for resigning from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet, he has earned the respect of some APC leaders.
“Saraki’s position may lead to the resuscitation of geopolitical representation in the Federal Executive Council to make the team 42.”
A source in the Presidency added: “From the look of things, we may have to resort to consensus on some nominees as the case in some states.
“Let me give you the example of Ekiti State. When the nomination of the candidate for the state was knotty, ex-Governors Niyi Adebayo and Segun Oni met with Buhari where Oni declared without reservation that the slot should be given to Dr. Kayode Fayemi. And that assisted in tackling the matter.
Source The Nation

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