Senate President Godswill Akpabio will today, Wednesday, July 19, 2023, read the letter containing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s nominees for ministerial positions.
According to reports, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Magaji Tambuwal, received the letter containing the list yesterday, Tuesday, July 18, 2023.
The president who has spent 50 days in office since his inauguration on May 29, 2023, is obligated to submit the list of ministerial nominees within 60 days of assuming office.
This means the president has till July 26, 2023, which is in ten days’ time to appoint members of his cabinet.
According to insider sources at the Presidency, the ministerial list had been prepared well in advance, but recent adjustments have been made to ensure its utmost effectiveness.
“The list of ministerial nominees has been ready since, but the President had to make some changes in some states,” a reliable source disclosed.
Nigerians have been eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the ministerial list, leading to the circulation of various speculative lists in recent weeks. Nonetheless, President Tinubu has skillfully guarded his choices, leaving the public in suspense as to who will ultimately secure portfolios in the final list of cabinet members.
The ministerial list is widely anticipated by Nigerians as one that will further show the policy direction of the Tinubu administration, in addressing the myriad of challenges facing Africa’s largest economy.
Tinubu’s letter further reduces the anxiety and suspense surrounding his ministerial nomination list. Although no official statement or information has emanated from the Senate to this effect, credible sources close to the office of the Senate President disclosed that the list has reached the Senate.
When asked to reveal the nominees, the source simply said: “What I can tell you is that the list is here now. On the content of the envelope, only the Senate President can open it and as such I can’t speculate about the nominees.”
A ranking senator, who was reached to confirm the story, however said he had no knowledge of the development.
“Why are you in a hurry? If the list is here (in the Senate), the Senate President will read it out tomorrow. If not, all of us will keep waiting for it.”
But when reminded that the President has less than 10 days to transmit the list of nominees, he said: “I can tell you that before this Thursday, the nominees will be made known to Nigerians.”
One of the expected outcomes of the list that has been talked about by many political pundits and public affairs commentators is the inclusion of some opposition party members. It is no longer news that some opposition members were instrumental to the victory of Tinubu at the presidential polls.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) G-5 governors, led by ex-governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, were instrumental in inflicting calculable damage to the fortunes of their party and their presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. Other members of the G-5 governors include: Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Seyi Makinde (Oyo).
Similarly, the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) presidential candidate, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, is also highly tipped for a place in Tinubu’s cabinet.
The presidential spokesman, Dele Alake, recently said that it is only President Tinubu that could decide when to submit the list of the nominees to the National Assembly, as well as those to make the list. Alake assured that the list would be made public before the expiration of the 60 days.
According to sources familiar with the President’s thinking, he plans to form a government of national interests across party lines by giving appointments to members of opposition parties with his eyes already on the 2027 general elections.
With these calculations, coupled with the need for further consultations with key stakeholders within and outside his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been forcing the President back to his drawing board to constantly tweak portfolios to assign to states and who to appoint to effectively man the post.
According to another source, the first batch of nominees to the Senate is ready for confirmation just to beat the July 26 constitutional deadline. “He will subsequently forward more names to the Senate for confirmation after the deadline.”
Prominent among the states giving President Tinubu dilemma is Kano State. After weeks of consultations and political engineering, it has emerged that political arch-rivals and former governors of the state, Kwankwaso of NNPP and his successor, Abdulahi Ganduje of the APC, will be nominees representing both Kano and the Northwest zone in the cabinet.