All is finally set for President Muhammadu Buhari to release the names of his ministers. The immediate past governors of Lagos and Rivers, Babatunde Fashola and Rotimi Amaechi; a former governor of Ekiti, Segun Oni and Education minister in the Obasanjo government, Oby Ezekwesili, are among those you will be seeing in the government of Buhari in the days to come.
Also believed to be on the list expected to be forwarded to the Senate this week are a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Abdurahman Danbazzau; Economic Adviser to late President Yar’Adua, Dr. Tanimu Yakubu Kirfi and respected economist, Professor Pat Utomi.
Ex-Ekiti Governor Kayode Fayemi or ex-Osun Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola may also be picked.
Presidency sources said that while Buhari is keen on having a lean cabinet, the Constitution is an impediment as it stipulates that every state must be represented in the Federal Executive Council.
Buhari and his think-tank are said to have realised that the size of the incoming cabinet cannot be less than 36.
Although the President is keeping the list to his chest, it was learnt that he is disposed to accepting nomination of capable, tested and what one source called “ethical” candidates from ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, ex-Chief of Army Staff, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, APC national leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, etc.
Ex-Minister Bolaji Abdullahi and ex-PDP Chairman Kawu Baraje may slug it out for Kwara State slot.
Buhari is also said to favour consulting Tinubu on some slots, regardless of pressure from some elements in the Presidency.
A source said: “The President has been consulting widely on the list of his ministers. All things being equal, some candidates from ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, ex-Chief of Army Staff, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and the newly-elected Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki may make the list.
“Some of these heavyweights have submitted advisory names but it is left for the President to reject or accept them.
“Governors will have less input into the cabinet. The President is actually fine-tuning the list of ministers which he will soon send to the National Assembly.
“As I am talking to you, the President is keeping the list to his chest. I am aware that some ex-governors may make the team on merit.”