The Nation Newspaper
The shape of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s cabinet became clearer last night.
It was gathered that no fewer than four former governors will be nominated. Two of them are from the Northwest, the others from Southsouth and Southwest geo-political zones.
A prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who is from Northcentral, tops the pack of technocrats being considered by the President.
These include top bankers, economists, health professionals and experts in other areas of endeavour.
Former senators, professional women and politicians are also among the President’s men and women.
Some among the 10 special advisers to the President will be nominated as ministers, it was learnt.
In the same vein, Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele said yesterday that President Tinubu’s ministerial list will get to the Senate tomorrow.
Bamidele (Ekiti Central) said the president had decided to spend some time in the last 48 hours to tinker with the list.
He spoke in Abuja during a lecture and book presentation to mark his 60th birthday.
The lecture was delivered by the immediate-past Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Prof. Toyin Ogundipe.
President Tinubu had accepted to be the father of the day but later called to say that he could not attend because he was putting the finishing touches to the ministerial list.
Bamidele said the president told him that he intended to forward the list to the Senate “in the next 48 hours”.
Addressing the audience who turned out for his programme, the senator said: “At 10.03 am today (yesterday), Mr President, His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was on the phone.
“He said to me: ‘Opeyemi, I need to make myself unavailable in the next 48 hours because a correspondence must come to the Senate, a very crucial correspondence.’
“Mr President prayed for me. He asked me to give the phone to my wife and he prayed for my wife.
“He said the two of us should join the rest of Nigerians and pray for him to be able to make the right decision on the list in 24 hours so that when Nigerians hear the list of his ministers, they will say yes, this is uncommon.
“So, join us in praying for Mr. President. He needed to be away from any kind of influence. I tell you that prayer means a lot to my family and we pray God will grant him all the wisdom in taking his decision.”
President Tinubu had promised to foster inclusion while setting up his “government of competence”.
Last week, the Senate decided to shelve its recess to enable senators to receive the list and screen the nominees.
A principal officer, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said the Senate, due to proceed on recess from July 27 (Friday) till September, was ready to sit every day to ensure screening and clearance of ministerial nominees, even if it means extending start of the recess by one week.
The birthday was witnessed by governors, legislators, traditional rulers, members of the bar and bench, and relations of the celebrator.
Akpabio urges governors, predecessors to fighting
Also speaking, Senate President Godswill Akpabio decried the incessant fights between governors and their predecessors.
Akpabio lauded Bamidele for his loyalty to President Tinubu for over 30 years, beginning from when he served as his aide in the National Assembly in 1992.
He lamented that governors always fight their predecessors immediately after they assume office.
Akpabio expressed displeasure with the attitude of governors to their predecessors, saying there is no former governor that has not had issues with his successor.
He lamented that Senators Adams Oshiomhole and Adamu Aliero had a crisis with their successors, noting that it is only Ekiti State Governor, Abiodun Oyebanji who is yet to fight with his predecessor (Dr. Kayode Fayemi).
Akpabio said: “The governor of Ekiti is a great example of what leadership should be. He has remained steadfast.
“As a governor, the moment you hand over power to your successor, he will turn on you. Either his taste will change or his attitude.
“There is no governor in Nigeria that has no problem with his predecessor apart from Ekiti governor.
“That is why we have to celebrate Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele for the kind of person he is.”
In his lecture titled: “Leadership challenges in modern societies,” Prof. Ogundipe said: “There is a need for our leaders to reduce the number of vehicles in their convey so that Nigerians will know that you feel their pains.
“There is nothing the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) are doing in the entourage of the President and Vice President when you have police in the convoy.”
Reflecting on insecurity in the country, Ogundipe said it is a global problem, adding that there are more crimes in the countries condemning Nigeria.
He said it is not possible to change the narrative because they control cyberspace.