By Dapo Akinrefon, LAGOS
The agitation for ministerial slots has led to in-fighting in some state chapters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as governors, former governors and party leaders are battling to ensure they present slots to President Bola Tinubu.
Vanguard gathered that apart from APC stakeholders who argue that they worked for the president during the February 25 presidential election, some leaders of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, among other parties, are also said to be jostling to make the ministerial list.
President may send list to Senate after July 4
By law, Tinubu must name his cabinet within 60 days after taking the oath of office on May 29 and transmit it to the Senate for confirmation.
Multiple sources disclosed that the President is expected to send the list of the nominees to the Senate when it resumes plenary on July 4.
In-fighting in APC
In Osun, the decision by the APC in the state to sanction the immediate past Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and a former speaker may not be unconnected with Osun ministerial slots.
Aregbesola and immediate past governor of the state, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, have been in a frosty relationship over the former’s alleged moves to scuttle Oyetola’s re-election chances during the 2022 election.
The APC in Osun State has decided “to deal with members involved in anti-party during the last governorship and general election in the state,” the party said in a statement.
Similarly, former governor of Kano State, Alhaji Umar Ganduje is at loggerheads with the presidential candidate of the NNPP, Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso.
In Oyo State, APC members are said not to be comfortable with Governor Seyi Makinde’s romance with President Tinubu.
APC leaders kick against strangers
One of the arguments put forward by APC leaders and members is that only “genuine APC members should be appointed.”
They argued that in the last dispensation, strangers benefited from their contributions to the party.
Tinubu’s special advisers
Last week, President Tinubu approved the appointment of Mr. Dele Alake as Special Adviser, Special Duties, Communications and Strategy; and Mr Nuhu Ribadu, as Special Adviser, Security.
A statement by the Director of Information, State House, Abiodun Oladunjoye, stated that other persons appointed are Mr. Yau Darazo, Special Adviser, Political and Intergovernmental Affairs; Mr. Wale Edun, Special Adviser, Monetary Policies; and Mrs. Olu Verheijen Special Adviser, Energy.
Zacchaeus Adedeji was appointed Special Adviser, Revenue, Mr. John Uwajumogu, Special Adviser, Industry, Trade and Investment and Mrs Salma Anas, Special Adviser, Health.
Jostle for ministerial slots
Following the appointment of special advisers, Vanguard gathered that lobbyists have been sending resumes (CVs) of prospective candidates to the Presidency, which are being collected for screening.
Despite the lobby by governors, former governors and leaders across party lines, multiple sources said President Tinubu has not disclosed those likely to make his cabinet.
Sources also informed Vanguard that close aides of the President do not have any idea of those likely to be in the cabinet.
Lobbyists besiege Aso Rock
A close ally to a former governor said: “I know they are collecting CVs of ministerial nominees. You know the Senate has gone on recess and adjourned sitting to July 4 and as they’re resuming, they will commence work on screening of ministerial nominees. For now, no name has been mentioned.”
Another source told Vanguard that with the president keeping the list close to his chest, party leaders had been left guessing.
The source said: “The president has not disclosed the ministerial nominees. Even those said to be close to the president have no idea of those likely to make the list.
‘’I am sure the list is ready and unofficially, the President may have given it to the Senate President.”
Tinubu not bothered about in-fighting—Source
Vanguard was further told that the jostling for ministerial slots has led to a crack in some of the APC state chapters.
Giving insight into the in-fighting in the APC, a source said: “The fight has been on and they are still fighting. I was informed that the President has refused to listen to those fighting themselves.”
Special Advisers may supervise ministers
Another source also hinted that the president may likely give more powers to the special advisers, while ministers would just be ceremonial heads.
He said: “From what I know, those who will work with the President are the 20 special advisers and they will be powerful. They are likely going to be the cabal.
‘’The in-fighting within the APC is serious. Some people are pushing former Kano governor, Umar Ganduje but Tinubu has aligned with the Presidential candidate of the NNPP, Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso.
“Unfortunately, Ganduje has lost Kano State and is no longer relevant. Kwakwanso may likely be made defence minister.”
Government of National Unity
Speaking on the prospect of the President forming a Government of National Unity, GNU, the source said Tinubu intended to bring everyone on board after the election petition tribunal.
He said: “Tinubu is likely to form a Government of National Unity and it will be across the board. For now, the president wants to settle down and sort out the court cases.”