Immediate past governors are scheming to be part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s next cabinet, multiple sources told the Daily Trust yesterday.
Most of the ministers who worked with the president in his first term are also lobbying to come back.
Among the former governors seeking to be ministers are some of those who are soon to be inaugurated as senators having won elections to the National Assembly, the sources added.
Also included are some first-time governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who lost their second term bids.
Daily Trust learnt that the president’s recent remarks that that members in his last cabinet performed well had equally emboldened some of them to intensify their lobby.
APC governors who bowed out of office on May 29 included Jibrilla Bindow (Adamawa), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara).
Shettima, Amosun, Al-Makura and Gaidam have won Senate seats, while Ajimobi failed to make it to the National Assembly.
Yari was sacked by the Supreme Court ruling that voided APC votes in Zamfara, while Okorocha is in court trying to get INEC to issue him with a certificate of return. The electoral body said its official had admitted declaring Okorocha winner of the senatorial election under duress.
Bindow and Abubakar lost their re-election bids to PDP candidates, while Ambode could not secure the APC ticket for the governorship during the primaries in Lagos.
“You know there are ten APC governors who left office recently and I want to assure you all of them have ambitions,” a credible source in the party said.
“As you can see, all of them had contested for offices during the general elections; all the governors who finished their second term wanted to go to the Senate but not all of them got it. Similarly, all the first term governors had contested for second term but not all of them won.
“But the irony is that while all the second term governors worked hard to see that they become senators, some of the governors that won the Senate seats are already angling to become ministers. So, the competition is fierce because all the ministers that left recently also want to come back,” he said.
Despite promptings by journalists, President Buhari had refused to give an idea as to how his next cabinet will look like, or who and who will make the list; but sources said he will most likely expand the cabinet from 36 to 42, while more ministries will be created to accommodate more people.
Our correspondent reports that while Khadijah Bukar Abba Ibrahim who was a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs left to contest for the House of Representatives seat, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibrin, a former minister of State for Environment left Abuja to become the Emir of Nasarawa.
A group, Nasarawa Concerned Citizens, had few weeks ago kicked against the alleged plot by Al-Makura to pick the ministerial slot of the state.
The group in an advertorial signed by Emmanuel Ezekiel Amadu, captioned: ‘Ministerial ambition: Is Nasarawa for only Al-Makura and his family,’ urged President Buhari to ensure equity and fairness in his next ministerial appointment.
“President Buhari should be the father he has been to all Nigerians by ensuring that equity and fairness governs his next ministerial appointment.
“Al-Makura is not the only qualified person to be appointed minister from Nasarawa state. In fact, having won his senatorial seat, how could he be so self-centred as to covet both openings himself?” he said.
A ranking lawmaker told our correspondent that the ex- governors were leaving no stone unturned to actualize their ambitions to be part of the federal cabinet.
The northern lawmaker, who does not want to be named, said the former governors who are now senators-elect have gone far in their bids to make the president’s ministerial list.
Another source told Daily Trust “Yes, it’s true that former governors that have been elected as senators now want to be ministers. I know of few of them, at least from their body language.
“You know they’re used to a lot of things as governors. For example, they’re used to signing contracts, retinue of aides, convoy and a lot of other things.
“But in the National Assembly, there won’t be all that. As a senator, they will even be moving unnoticed. Nobody will give them any attention, they know that, that’s why they want to be ministers.
“At least as ministers, they can sign contracts, have convoy, maintain modest retinue of aides as well as have other pegs of office. That’s what they’re after. They want their lifestyles as governors to continue in a way.
“The truth is that they didn’t want to gamble from the beginning to say that they wanted to be ministers, that’s why they contested for the Senate to ensure that have security of office first.
“Now, even if they don’t get the ministerial appointments, they’re sure of their Senate seats,” he said.
Another source also said Sen. Mohammed Adamu Aliero, who is a former governor of Kebbi State, is also interested in becoming a minister in the next cabinet of President Buhari.
“Yes, I heard that Aliero too is interested. You know he was a minister of FCT, so he knows what it means to be a minister. But I doubt if he’ll get it.”
It was gathered that while some of the immediate past ministers believed that they would be considered because of their “outstanding performance,” others were relying on the circumstances that led to their selection in 2015.
“Many of the ministers knew they didn’t perform in the last three and half years but they have their ways, they have people who speak on their half and those people have the listening ears of the president as such they would come back,” a source said.
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Publish date : 2019-06-03 12:17:09