Of Buhari’s Ministerial List Delay And Politicians’ Dilemma
WHEN President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, there were intense intrigues and speculations on who makes his ministerial list. Some prominent party bigwigs were touted as possible ministerial nominees.
The social and print media were agog with the bandwagon effect of the President’s possible ministerial list. Party chieftains as usual tried to outwit one another to get the President’s ear.
They reached out to some people they believed have the ear of President Buhari which include his relatives, politicians, traditional rulers and retired military personnel. Several nocturnal, dramatised and unsolicited visits were paid to the President’s homes in Daura, Katsina and Kaduna states by politicians.
Text messages and phone calls were made to him by some influential Nigerians, suggesting some individuals for ministerial appointment.
Some even blackmailed and castigated their friends and relatives in a bid to win the President’s heart. Party leaders, APC governors and others who thought that it was still business as usual in terms of ministerial appointment wanted to dictate who gets what from their states.
As all these intrigues are ongoing, President Buhari, known for his taciturnity, remained undistracted and calm. He fired his salvo by telling the APC governors to forget about nominating ministerial nominees for him, a decision that was strange in the polity before now.
Despite the hue and cry over the delay in the appointment of the ministers, President Buhari appeared not be bothered at all. At a time, it was disclosed that there was ongoing squabble between Buhari’s core loyalists and some APC bigwigs over who makes the ministerial list.
Before the disclosure last month that President Buhari will appoint his ministers in September, a prominent Northern leader had told The Guardian that his group has told the President to appoint his ministers, reminding him that all interests cannot be accommodated in the ministerial appointment.
A source close to the President who pleaded anonymity revealed recently that whenever the President reads media report on his possible ministerial nominees, he would laugh and scream ‘these people have chosen my cabinet members for me on the pages of newspaper’.
Not sure of who and what the President Buhari has in mind in terms of ministerial appointment, and others, many APC bigwigs that were earlier touted to make the list and were visible in the early days of his administration have lied low for sometime now.
One of them disclosed to The Guardian last week that nobody can say with certainty who will make the ministerial list, and on what consideration.
On the recent media report that only three out of 33 ministerial nominees submitted by the President passed the security screening, the party bigwig said such report might not be true, considering the body language of President Buhari, which is neither here nor there.
Besides, all the appointments the President has made so far varied from what was speculated or earlier reported by some section of the media.
Now that President Buhari has officially confirmed that he would not appoint his ministers until September, those lobbying, scheming, and even fighting for ministerial positions have to wait longer. This is even if at all those that have lobbied, fought and schemed for it will make the list at end of the day.