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The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is in shock over the ministerial list released by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The list revealed on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
But some party leaders, especially Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo and former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, are upset that the list did not contain the names of their nominees, New Telegraph reports.
Rather than pick the choice of ‘Jagaban’, Buhari selected former Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), estranged political godsons of Tinubu.
Similarly, Osinbajo could not get human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on the list.
Falana, (from Ekiti State), was being tipped to emerge as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Osinbajo reportedly made a case to the president more than twice to consider Falana. Instead, Buhari chose Fayemi, for his hard work before and after the election.
Fayemi, who may head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was the chairman of the APC National Convention in Lagos and later the Director, Directorate of Policy and Strategy of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
Also, Osinbajo promoted the name of Prof. Pat Utomi as a ministerial nominee for Delta State.
But the president opted for the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.
He is expected to serve as Minister of State for Petroleum.
A senior party member told New Telegraph that “Asiwaju was disappointed with the ministerial list as none of his nominees made the Buhari’s cabinet. He felt used and dumped.”
“Tinubu invested his resources to prosecute the Buhari presidential election such that the president’s wife, Aisha, said the former governor drafted her to join the campaign train.”
The president, it was gathered, sent copies of the ministerial list to Tinubu and the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
Tinubu, who received the list in company of his aides and political associates, including former Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, looked through and was so surprised that he did not utter a word.
“Tinubu just took the list and called Chief Akande into an inner room in his Abuja residence,” the source said.
Thereafter, Akande called the president requesting for an audience. He got an appointment for 11p.m last Wednesday.
At the meeting, Akande asked why the president rejected Tinubu and South-West leaders’ recommendations for the ministerial list.
Buhari was said to have told Akande that since Tinubu produced the Vice President, others in South-West too should have a share of the appointments meant for the region.
Buhari reportedly hailed the efforts of Fashola and Fayemi, saying they deserved compensation.
On Fashola, the president said apart from being a two-term governor, he was chairman of the presidential fundraising committee and he worked more for his campaign unlike Yemi Cardoso, a former Lagos State Commissioner that Tinubu had proposed.
The president also justified the choice of Adebayo Shittu as Oyo State ministerial nominee.
He recalled that Shittu had been with him since his days in the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). Shittu was 2007 CPC governorship candidate in Oyo State.
For Ogun, Buhari explained that he had to defer to Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, on the state’s nominee, because of their relationship since the days of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).
While Buhari was the ANPP’s presidential candidate in the 2007 general elections, Amosun was the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Ogun State.
Former National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode Mustapha, was the candidate of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
However, Buhari agreed to cede the Osun ministerial slot to Obasanjo’s candidate, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former governor of the state.
Besides, a group close to the president worked against Tinubu.
They are Governors Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna) and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), and former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
The trio, along with Pastor Tunde Bakare, were said to have played crucial roles in the choice of the ministerial list.
They resolved to whittle down the political influence of Tinubu because of the risk attached to allowing him have his protégés in many positions.
Speaking on the ministerial list, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, stated that Tinubu had lost out in the Buhari’s government.
“When a man thinks he’s too smart, he will ultimately dribble himself. What has happened to Tinubu is that those he launched all kinds of war against have become the victors. He never knew that the attack he was launching against them was a way of actually helping those people.
“President Buhari who appointed Fashola, Fayemi and others doesn’t want people under Tinubu’s influence in his cabinet. Now, he can’t begin to claim them after they have been appointed despite his opposition.”
Former Chairman, Presidential Advisory Council on National Conference, Senator Femi Okunroumu, in his reaction said his prediction had come to pass that Tinubu would be humiliated by Buhari.
“I am having a good laugh. This is what I expected. In any case, Tinubu is stretching his luck too far as he wants to dictate who will rule Nigeria. Tinubu’s wings need to be clipped.”
“With the ministerial list, Tinubu has been dumped. He should not just be dumped, he should be disgraced,” Okurounmu said.
On his part, Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said he was not surprised with Buhari’s approach.
“I’m not disappointed at all. I warned before the election that Buhari would not change, although he said he is a converted democrat.
“APC is not a party; it is a gang of people whose sole aim was to remove Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as president. In a real party, you share the spoils of office before elections not after elections. This is what is happening in APC. We warned our people, but they failed to listen.”