The swearing in of the 43 ministers confirmed by the Senate of the National Assembly towards the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday by President Muhammadu Buhari for his second tenure, may have left a sour memory in some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). A Presidency source disclosed that President Buhari, again, did not grant the APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, his requests for ministerial spots in the new federal cabinet, though, two of his close political allies got appointment. Our source alleged that the perceived fight of the APC national leader with the former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, is also working against the APC national leader in his negotiations and requests for political patronage from the president.
The source maintained that while President Buhari conceded to purported pressures and protests from Tinubu not to include Ambode in the ministerial appointment, the president also turned down several other requests from Tinubu on ministerial slots.
The presidency source, which sought anonymity, disclosed that, accordingly, some of the nominees of the APC national leader were not accepted by the President. It was alleged that Tinubu’s nominations from Lagos, Ogun and Oyo were rejected by the President while those from Osun and Ekiti merely scaled through because of their own personal goodwill with President Buhari, as well as their crucial roles in the presidential electioneering campaigns.
It was alleged that Tinubu purportedly had Yemi Cardoso in his list as ministerial nominee from Lagos State in rejection of Ambode, while Babatunde Fashola already had his nomination direct from the president; the former Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, was purported to be Tinubu’s nominee from Oyo, while Olusegun Abraham was said to be the alleged nominee from Ondo State.
Our source from the Presidency said that the appointment of the former Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, believed to be a lieutenant of Tinubu, was a coincident that worked in favour of the APC leader in the southwest. Former Governor Aregbesola was said to have an established goodwill with President Buhari for his consistent support and delivery of Osun State in three consecutive presidential elections – 2011, 2015 and 2019, which Buhari was a principal beneficiary in 2015 and 2019. It was noted that even when some of the party leaders compromised the 2011 presidential election, Aregbesola maintained his loyalty.
It was alleged that two ministerial nominees, Rotimi Amaechi and Fashola, persuaded President Buhari that in the rejection of Ambode, Lagos State second slot should be given Nimbe Mamora, former Managing Director of Nigeria Inland Waterways. Mamora was a Deputy Director General in Buhari’s Presidential Campaign Organization.
National Daily is monitoring the impasse and will present update in subsequent reports.