While the President has shunned state governors, Naija News learned that former ministers who served in President Buhari’s first tenure are currently on an intense lobbying to return to Aso Rock.
A report monitored on the Nation newspaper by Naija News, quoted a governor to have admitted Friday night that the President is coordinating the shortlist of the members of his new team all alone.
The governor who was not named by the newspaper said: “As I talk to you, the President has not asked for any recommendation or a list of nominees from APC governors.
“Some of us have tried to suggest some names to him but he never said yes or no.
“I can say playing any role in assembling the cabinet is beyond us this time around.
“We are awaiting the ministerial list like all Nigerians,” the governor reportedly told the newspaper.
The report added that President Buhari is also keeping his ex-ministers in suspense over their chances of returning to the cabinet with most of the former ministers hanging around Abuja, the nation’s capital, to lobby for their return to the new cabinet or simply await their fate.
There are indications that about 70 percent of the ex-ministers may not be reappointed by the President, the Nation reports, adding that none of the ex-ministers have received assurance from the President of likely reappointment.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, told the newspaper that: “Most of the ex-ministers are still in Abuja for intense lobbying, but Buhari is keeping them in suspense.
“In spite of the fact that about 15 of them are interested in coming back, the President is yet to make any commitment to any of them or those lobbying for them.
“The situation is so dicey that no one can confidently say that he or she is sure of a return ticket to the cabinet.
“Even those rated as anointed among the ex-ministers cannot guarantee their second term in office.
“A few former ministers have wielded contacts from abroad but Buhari has kept his game plan to his chest.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “So far, I think about 70 to 80 percent of the former cabinet members may not return. His body language suggests a major overhaul of the cabinet.
“The President, in an address to mark Democracy Day on June 12, said he would ‘assemble a strong team of Nigerians and allies to implement our transformative plans and proposals.’ This declaration was ominous for former cabinet members.”
Also commenting on the President’s awaiting ministerial list, a former Minister, who was not named by the newspaper, said: “I think so far, we are all just hanging around Abuja pending when the President will announce his new cabinet.
“We have not been able to travel out of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) because of the ministerial politics.
“If he needs a few of us, he used to invite us to clarify a few things. But it does not translate to reappointment.”
Meanwhile, Naija News understands that section 147(1-3) directs the President to appoint at least 36 ministers unless the constitution is amended.
The section reads: “There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President.
“Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.
“Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:
“Provided that in giving effect to the Provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each state, who shall be an indigene of such state.”