As the push for ministerial appointments gathers steam, there are strong indications that President Bola Tinubu may have dumped the idea of populating his government’s former governors and prefers technocrats and professionals to be members of his cabinet, Vanguard has learned.
Our correspondent was reliably informed yesterday that the fate of former governors, in the formation of the cabinet remains doubtful as the President is said not to be looking in their direction.
A source familiar with the development disclosed that former governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are making frantic efforts to ensure their nominees get appointments to the Board MDAs and parastatals.
Recall that President Tinubu, on Monday, dissolved the Governing Boards of all Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies, Institutions, and Government-Owned Companies, except the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Senator George Akume, had in a statement, said the action was an exercise of the president’s “constitutional powers and the public interest.”
Ex-northern govs jostle for positions, push for nominees in MDAs, parastatals
With the dissolution of the MDAs and parastatals, Vanguard was informed that former governors are pushing to have their protégés appointed.
A source, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, said the President is “trying to avoid these APC leaders.”
The source, who is a former governor, said aside from getting their nominees appointed as board chairmen, the former governors, especially those of northern extraction, are pushing to be ministers.
He said: “There is a little crisis in the northern APC; they are becoming a liability to Tinubu. Most of the former governors want to be ministers because they feel they contributed to Tinubu’s electoral victory.
mobilisation from Asiwaju but they now want to become ministers. As a result of that, they now want to become a distraction to the president by insisting that they should be appointed as ministers and also appointing people to the boards of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
Some of them have also approached him (President) for contracts.
“For now, Tinubu is trying to avoid these former northern governors; he is trying to distance himself from them.
“The president is looking at appointing technocrats, especially from the north. In Kano, for instance, the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso is being favoured ahead of the former governor, Alhaji Umar Ganduje.
“As far as the president is concerned, Ganduje has lost Kano and the president believes Kwakwanso is more relevant to him at the federal level.”
Another source, however, insisted that Ganduje is still “Tinubu’s man.”
The fate of former govs doubtful in cabinet formation
On the fate of former governors making the list, a source said: “In some of the states like Ogun for instance, it is believed that the role played by Governor Dapo Abiodun during the APC presidential primary when he aligned with former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo did not go down well with the president. The president has not made up his mind as to which bloc of the APC in Ogun will produce a minister.
“We also heard that some former governors like Senator Ibikunle Amosun are trying to realign and make amends with the president.
“Some of them now ensure that they participate in the Friday Jumaat prayers where the president will be present.
Amosun and a few other former governors were there.
“There is that crisis and the president is trying to avoid them.”
Why he went with a light delegation to Paris
The source further disclosed that, unlike what was obtained in the past when the president goes on a foreign trip with a large delegation made up of party chieftains, Tinubu decided to go with a light delegation to Paris.
He said: “Some of these former governors had wanted to accompany the President to Paris but he refused and insisted that he would only attend the summit with his aides.”
Recall that the President, on Tuesday, arrived in Paris, France, for the Summit on New Global Financing Pact, which will be hosted by President Emmanuel Macron.
The President will participate in a two-day summit, June 22nd and 23rd, that will look at opportunities to restore fiscal space to countries that face difficult short-term financial challenges, especially the most indebted, mobilize innovative financing for countries vulnerable to climate change and economies struggling with the effects of COVID-19 and energy crisis