Scramble for ministerial appointments begins ahead of Buhari's second term

Posted by Segun James | 1 March 2019 | 1,459 times

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•President Buhari and his minister at FEC meeting

Following a hint by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, that President Muhammadu Buhari might dissolve his cabinet before his May 29 terminal date, jostle for ministerial appointments by outgoing and prospective ministers have begun, according to THISDAY report.

Adesina had told Arise TV, a broadcast arm of THISDAY, Thursday morning that Buhari might dissolve his cabinet before May 29 to pave the way for a fresh team that would help him navigate the new tenure he won last Saturday.

“One thing about governance is that the first mandate was for four years and it lapses on May 29, and shortly before May 29, the president is likely going to officially dissolve government, that is the way it is usually done – he says thank you to everybody he has called to work with him and then, he dissolves that government officially. Then when he is inaugurated for a second term, he now reconstitutes government. He appoints his personal aides; he forms the cabinet; he appoints people to fill other positions,” he said.

It was gathered that intense lobby had begun with outgoing ministers reaching out to the president’s kitchen cabinet for support.

Some of those said to be close to the president who have come under intense pressure to support the ambition of prospective ministerial nominees, include his wife, Aisha; uncle, Mamman Daura; Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari; and close ally and former member of House of Representatives, Alhaji Mohammed Faruk.

Already caught by the lobby bug are some ministers who believed they had performed in their first term of office, including the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; and Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

Also pushing for appointment are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, who believed they had worked so hard to deliver Buhari. Leading this pack, according to presidency sources, is the Director of Strategic Communication, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, who energetically took the bullets for the president and spared none of his traducers.

It was further learnt that some of the candidates who had their governorship and related ambition aborted, including Rivers State APC gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Tonye Cole, have also begun to make contacts.

Adesina, who had told Arise TV that it should be expected that Buhari would relieve his ministers of their appointments as the curtain falls on his tenure, also took the opportunity of his appearance to shed more light on the appointment of military service chiefs by the president, explaining that Buhari’s choice is not subject to the principle of federal character enshrined in 1999 Constitution as altered.

He said the principle, which was established to engender equitable distribution of appointments at the federal level among the 36 states of the federation, was not applicable to the security agencies.

Adesina’s clarification was an apparent response to widespread criticism of Buhari’s security appointments, thought to be lopsided in favour of the northern part of the country.

 Excerpted from THISDAY report

Source: News Express

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