President Muhammadu Buhari may have already penciled down the name of former governor of Lagos state, Akinwumi Ambode for a ministerial appointment in his final cabinet reshuffle, National Daily has gathered.
From a new revelation emanating from strong setting, both in Aso Rock and Ambode inner caucus, it was gathered that discussions were already ongoing on whether or not the one-time governor should be appointed as a minister, with a strong portfolio, and that if things go well the man might be announced by presidency soonest.
It was learnt that the former governor would be getting the appointment as a reward from President Muhammadu Buhari, which signal that Lagos APC would not have any influence on Ambode’s new role to serve inside as one of the president’s cabinet members.
The sources claimed that Ambode’s consideration for any ministerial post has nothing to do with Lagos where he was denied second term and other perks of office occasioned by the recent law which slashed ex-governors pensions, among others.
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Aside from perks of office, the governor has also been absent in Lagos APC decision making organ, Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) and other meetings involving political heavyweights in the state, which had rendered Ambode into political oblivion in his home state.
It was gathered that those who lobbied the positions for the former governor were strong cabals in the presidency and that party leaders from Lagos may not be able to influence it otherwise as it was already a done deal said to have been endorsed and awaiting only announcement from the president.
One of the sources from Ambode’s camp who spoke with The Guild on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitive nature, said that the appointment had been perfected at the centre and that it was part of the deal that the former governor make it as secretive as possible till it was announced.
She added that following his appointment into the 61-member APC Contact and Strategy Committee, and his effective contributions to the committee’s job, his progress report was presented to the presidency where the journey started before he was finally considered and penciled down for the job.
“As I speak with you, his name has been confirmed on the list and every necessary process has been perfected. We are only awaiting the announcement that will follow major cabinet reshuffling from the president. So, the appointment will be another consolation for the governor after he was unjustly denied a second term in Lagos State.
“The appointment will bring him back to political relevance ahead of the 2023 general elections. Also, the appointment will better reposition him for other higher opportunities after the 2023 elections. Right now, I can confirm to you that the camp is happy and we are all awaiting the announcement,” the source said.
Another source from Aso Rock said that the decision to appoint Ambode has been made for a long time but the timing has not been right and that with next cabinet reshuffling, his name would be announced among new cabinet members to work with Buhari.
He said, “Ambode has been penciled down for ministerial position for quite a while now but the recent happenings had been affecting his appointment. However, his name will be announced among the list of next ministerial appointments. It is a done deal already because the position was lobbied for him by strong members in the presidency.”
Although the former governor has denied the speculations and distanced himself from any purported ministerial appointment, the source claimed that Ambode silence was needed to ensure unnecessary distraction was kept away and the move remain hidden as much as possible.