FORMER GOVERNORS EXPECTED IN PRESIDENT'S 'CABINET OF UNITY' MINISTERIAL LIST
By Nicolas Adekeye
As the deadline for submitting the ministerial list to the Senate approaches, it has been revealed that at least five former governors are set to be included in President Bola Tinubu's nominees. The list, which is expected to be sent to the Senate for approval within the next week, is seen as an attempt to foster political unity by including representatives from different political parties, as well as technocrats.
Dubbed the 'cabinet of (political) unity', the list will feature nominees from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and various technocratic backgrounds. President Tinubu's decision to reach across party lines has sparked competition and intrigue within political camps, as stakeholders vie for suitable representatives from key states.
According to the Nigerian Constitution, the President has a maximum of 60 days to submit his list of Ministers to the Senate for screening, and with less than 20 days remaining, the selection process is entering its final stages.
It has been revealed that the new cabinet will consist of 42 Ministers and 20 Special Advisers. One notable departure from the previous administration is the likely abolishment of the Ministers of State position, indicating a streamlined approach to governance.
The inclusion of former governors in the ministerial list is seen as a strategic move by President Tinubu to tap into their wealth of experience in governance and administration. It also reflects his commitment to forming a diverse and inclusive government that represents various interests across party lines.
Furthermore, there are strong indications that several former governors may be included in the final ministerial list to be submitted to the Senate. Among them is Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the former governor of Kaduna State. El-Rufai's role in the emergence of Honorable Tajudeen Abbas as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as his chairmanship of the committee on true federalism established by the APC in 2018, are cited as major factors in his potential inclusion in the list.
Other former governors who are rumored to be on the list include Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State. The consideration of these former governors reflects President Tinubu's intention to tap into their experience and leadership capabilities in his administration.
Additionally, there are reports suggesting that former governor of Ogun State, Senator Gbenga Daniel, is being favored over Senator Ibikunle Amosun for a position on the ministerial list. This decision highlights the careful selection process undertaken by President Tinubu's camp to ensure the inclusion of individuals who can contribute effectively to the government's agenda.
Moreover, former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, is being considered for the role of Foreign Affairs Minister. Fayemi previously served as the Minister of Mines and Steel in the last administration, and his potential appointment reflects President Tinubu's interest in leveraging his experience and diplomatic skills in foreign relations.
As the president's list of nominees approaches its finalization, the inclusion of these former governors and other individuals with diverse backgrounds signifies President Tinubu's commitment to assembling a capable and inclusive team that can address the nation's challenges and drive development in Nigeria.
As the political landscape eagerly awaits the official release of the ministerial list, all eyes will be on the Senate, which will be responsible for the screening and confirmation of the nominees. The composition of the new cabinet is expected to have a significant impact on the direction and policies of the Tinubu administration in the coming years.
In addition, there are expectations that certain large ministries will be split into two or three separate entities in order to create more portfolios for cabinet members. Ministries such as Works and Housing, Agriculture and Rural Development, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, and Youths and Sports are among those likely to undergo this restructuring.
Furthermore, a proposed list of 20 individuals has emerged for positions as Senior Special Assistants (SSAs), Special Assistants (SAs), and Personal Assistants (PAs) within the new administration. The list includes Dr. Adekunle Tinubu as Personal Physician, Tunde Rahman as SSAP (Media), Damilotun Aderemi as SSAP (Private Secretary), Ibrahim Masari as SSAP (Political Matters), Toyin Subair as SSAP (Domestic), Abdulaziz Abdulaziz as SSAP (Print Media), Otega Ogara as SSAP (Digital/New), Demola Oshodi as SSAP (Protocol), Tope Ajayi as SSAP (Media & Public), and Yetunde Sekoni as SSAP.
Others are Motunrayo Jinadu – SSAP; Segun Dada – SAP (Social Media); Paul Adekanye – SAP (Logistics); Friday Soton – SAP (Housekeeping); Mrs Shitta-Bey Akande – SAP (Catering); Nosa Asemota – SAP (Visual Communication) Personal Photographer; Kamal Yusuf – PA (Special Duties); Wale Fadairo – PA (General Duties); Sunday Moses – PA (Videography); and Taiwo Okonlawon – PA (State Photographer).
These appointments demonstrate President Tinubu's efforts to assemble a team of competent and dedicated individuals who will assist in the smooth running of his administration. The inclusion of various positions reflects the recognition of the importance of specialized roles in addressing the diverse needs of the government and the public.
As the anticipation grows and the final touches are made to the ministerial list, Nigerians eagerly await the announcement of the nominees and their subsequent confirmation by the Senate. The formation of the new cabinet, along with the appointment of SSAs, SAs, and PAs, will play a crucial role in shaping the policies and direction of the Tinubu administration in the years to come.