Die minute to the constitutionally approved time frame for submission of ministerial list enshrined in Nigeria Constitution, the President seem to be battling with satisfying the needs of all party faithful yet wanting to ensure capable hands fall in place. President Bola Tinubu has replaced four of his nominees for ministerial appointment, according to Presidency sources quoted this Monday morning.
This is coming barely four days to the expiration of the 60-day provision for the President to submit names of ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation.
“One of the sources disclosed that four names initially penciled down by the President in four states, have been withdrawn and replaced with new names,” according to the report.
Another source also disclosed that the final list was supposed to be submitted to the Senate last week but for the opposition against the immediate past governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, who is said to be the President’s preferred candidate to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu as national chairman of the All-Progressives Congress, APC.
Ganduje, it was gathered, was initially considered for a ministerial slot but for the resignation of Senator Adamu, which was said to have propelled the President to nominate him as possible replacement for the former chairman, being from the North-West where Adamu hails from.
This is said to be generating crisis as some stalwarts of the APC have argued that the former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, who is from the North-Central as the former chairman, was more “cool-headed than Ganduje.”
Senator Al-Makura was one of the leading aspirants for the position during the last APC convention but was prevailed upon by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari, to step down for Senator Adamu.
The former Nasarawa State governor at the time was accused of being Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s ally, who was then one of APC’s presidential aspirants.
But sources familiar with the intrigues playing out in the choice of the APC chairman, hinted that the opposition to Ganduje’s choice is responsible for the inability of the President to submit the ministerial list to the Senate last week.
Although it was speculated that the ministerial list was forwarded to the Red Chamber last week, a highly placed source while responding to Vanguard’s inquiries, said: “We are yet to get the final list of the ministerial nominees.
“If we have received it, the Clerk of the National Assembly would have read it out, there will be no need to keep the list if it is received.”
The source said: “As of Friday, the list is with Baba but I don’t know of yesterday (Saturday). Every minute he is changing some names, up till Friday when he travelled, he still edited some names. But by this week, he will call the Presidential Liaison Officer to the Senate and give him the list.
“It’s this week that he will send the list and Senate will clear the nominees this week.”
President torn between Ganduje and Al-Makura
A lawmaker from the South-West, who spoke on the matter, said the president also confirmed that he was yet to send the list of his ministers for screening.
The senator also attributed it to the politics around the choice of the APC chairman.
The lawmaker said: “I learned the Senate President has been given the list and what is delaying it is the addition and subtraction to the list. Anything can happen at the last minute.
“Another thing causing the delay is the politics and intrigues concerning the possible choice of Dr Umaru Ganduje, as the national chairman of APC.
“Most of the party leaders don’t want Ganduje but a majority of them are rooting for former Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-Makura, to take over from Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
‘’They are also rooting for former Senate spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru, as Secretary of the party. Whereas Almakura is from Nasarawa as the ousted Adamu, Basiru is also from Osun State as the ousted Omisore.
‘’Most APC leaders are against Ganduje as national chairman given the alleged corruption charges levelled against him. They say it is not good for the image of the party.
“As you know, the Kano State government has brought up the matter and that is why most of the leaders are saying it is not good for the image of the party.
“They have gone to meet with Asiwaju that they don’t want Ganduje but the buck stops at his table.”