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With less than 48 hours to the unveiling of the ministerial list by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, some nominees have embarked on intensive prayer sessions ahead of their screening by the upper legislative chamber. The ministerial list will be read on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday while the screening process is likely to commence the following day. Besides, senators have come under intense pressure as rumours of likely hurdles on the ways of some nominated persons became rife.
Among those to face tough screening as well as resistance from senators from their states are former Rivers and Ekiti governors, Rotimi Amaechi and Dr Kayode Fayemi respectively. With both states under the control of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party just as the senators are of the same party, Sunday Telegraph gathered that the governors are warming up to put up serious resistance. Coming on the heels of this development is the anxiety that has pervaded Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Ondo states as President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to settle for anyone in those states.
According to sources in the know of the ministerial nominations, the underground lobby of senators began shortly after the submission of the list by the President. ‘’As usual, you know that lobbying would have commenced as expected but the difference in this case is that no one in the presidency is ready to put in a word for the nominees. They are on their own and their personal credentials and character will see them through. ‘’Gone are the days when once you are nominated, you are as sure as being a minister.
Your nomination is different, whether your attitude and character will carry you through is another. So if any of the nominees thinks because President Buhari has nominated him or her, it is over, such a person must have a rethink.
“‘Quite honestly, some of them are already aware of this fresh mantra and are even going the extra mile to lobby. Senators have been under pressure since Wednesday’s submission of the list. “‘Some of them who may come across difficulties and challenges have even resorted to prayers. I know of some who claimed to be on fasting and prayers since the submission of the list,” a source said. Sunday Telegraph gathered that the governors of Rivers and Ekiti states, Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose respectively, have reportedly mandated the senators from their states to oppose the nominations of Amaechi and Fayemi.
While Wike and the Rivers state senators are banking on the outcome of the recent probe of the former governor’s administration to nail him at the Senate, Fayose is said to have mobilised the lawmakers from Ekiti to oppose Fayemi and instead opt for human rights lawyer, Chief Femi Falana (SAN). As regards the slots for Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Ondo three states, Buhari is said to be “confused” as to who should be nominated.
“‘I think the President appears confused because of the various complexities in those states. Politics is a game that requires consultations but I think something is wrong in the case of the three states because of the intrigues,” a source told Sunday Telegraph in confidence.