With barely less than a week after submitting the list of the first set of ministerial nominees, President Muhammadu Buhari is weighing options on the next batch of nominees, as last minutes of intense horse-trading and lobbying are ongoing in the affected states.
It was learnt that the jostle for the other slots has become very intense.
Most of the states are Ondo, Kogi, Abia, Enugu, Imo, Bayelsa, Borno, Cross River, Nasarawa, Yobe, Zamfara, Osun, Kaduna, Bauchi, Sokoto, Adamawa, Lagos.
But the battle for the slots was said to be keen at press time because no one knew the mindset of the President.
A reliable source close to the polity said: “For instance in Imo, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo wants the slot for a former Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Festus Odimegwu but Governor Rochas Okorocha is rooting for his in-law, Prof. Anthony Anwuka (a former vice chancellor).
“Also in contention is a former governorship candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) in 2011, Hon. Emeka Nwajuba.
“In Abia State, the jostle is between Buhari’s old associate, Ike Emenike and the party’s governorship candidate, Anyim Nzeribe, who is a loyalist of Governor Rochas Okorocha in the state.”
“Having been familiar with the politics of Kaduna, President Buhari is taking sole charge of the ministerial nominee from the state, based on certain indices.
“In fact, Governor Nasir el-Rufai is actually staying away from making any input in the nomination process. He has left the President and other stakeholders to sort it out.
“In Ondo State, the race for the ticket is between a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and a top politician from the state, who was an executive of a multinational company.
“In Osun, there are three candidates for the slot and Buhari is expected to pick one. They are ex-Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola (recommended for his support and loyalty to Governor Rauf Aregbesola and APC); the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Isaac Adewole and a prominent politician in the state.
“Apart from also being a favourite of Obasanjo, ex-Governor Oyinlola’s candidacy is also being promoted by some forces in APC.
According to The Nation, some names that may make it into the 2nd Ministerial list include;
Chief Festus Odimegwu
Prof. Anthony Anwuka
Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu
Prof. Isaac Adewole
Comrade Osita Okechukwu
Prof. Barth Nnaji
According to another source, “Despite the fact that the President has set his own criteria, he is weighing options on the remaining candidates because of interplay of factors.
“Although some aides are proposing the retention of the 42-man ministerial structure, others are urging the President to stick to the 36-team model prescribed by the 1999 Constitution.
“The submission of the first batch of 21 names to the Senate has heightened lobby for the remaining slots.”