Party Loyalists and Former Politicians Jostle for Ministerial Positions in Tinubu’s Administration
In an intense race to secure ministerial positions in the administration of President Bola Tinubu, state chapters of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have compiled lists of nominees from their respective states. These lists are expected to be sent to the party’s secretariat in Abuja and subsequently forwarded to President Tinubu, who will make the final decision on the shortlist of ministers and unveil their names and portfolios in the near future.
President Tinubu, who assumed office on May 29, is faced with a deadline of less than 33 days to announce his ministerial appointments, as per a new law signed by former President Muhammadu Buhari on March 17, 2023.
While President Tinubu has enjoyed widespread public acceptance since his recent appointments, concerns have been raised that party loyalty rather than competence may be the deciding factor in filling the ministerial seats.
Reports indicate that several party leaders, including former governors and ex-lawmakers who were unsuccessful in the February 25 elections, have been frequently seen at the APC National Secretariat in recent weeks. These visits are seen as signs of intense competition for ministerial positions among these individuals.
Additionally, there are indications that some prominent figures, such as former Governors Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, who did not physically appear in Abuja, are still being strongly considered as potential candidates for ministerial appointments.
Moreover, speculation has arisen that Nyesom Wike, the former governor of Rivers State and a prominent member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is contemplating defecting to the ruling party with the expectation of securing a ministerial position.
State chapters of the APC are also vying for ministerial slots as a form of compensation for their contributions to President Tinubu’s victory in the presidential election.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir, the immediate past Senate Majority Leader, is reportedly being considered for a ministerial position in Sokoto State, while party members in Osun State are advocating for the appointment of the former governor of the state, Gboyega Oyetola, as a minister.
A reliable party source, speaking anonymously, has confirmed that some party members who were unsuccessful in the recent general election but played significant roles in securing Bola Tinubu’s victory on February 25 will be rewarded with ministerial positions or other high-ranking roles in the government.
“There are some people who were not members of our party but fought a good fight to ensure that Asiwaju won that election; should Tinubu now abandon them and go for those who didn’t do anything just because they are party members? No, it doesn’t work like that.
Iorfa Thomas, a leader in the ruling party and a former senatorial candidate in Benue’s Zone C senatorial district, claimed that Tinubu will have a good cabinet that will provide Nigerians with the desired level of governance.
According to him, previous appointments made by the president are a good indicator of how his ministers will also be appointed.
He said: “President Tinubu will not disappoint Nigerians; even though he does not have enough time, Nigerians should expect capable people in his cabinet. It is not about spending the whole year looking for a capable person. I believe he already knows those he can work with.”
He said further: “If you look at his recent appointments, you will see that the president balanced them by going to different regions. He is going to make sure that nobody is left out.