21 March 2010

Nigeria: 20 Ex-Ministers to Bounce Back

Twenty members of the dissolved Federal Executive Council (FEC) have been renominated by the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan and their names have already been sent to the State Security Service (SSS) for screening, Daily Trust learnt in Abuja yesterday. The sources said the presidency awaits nominations from state governors to fill in the remaining ministerial slots. The governors have been asked to turn in three names for the Acting President to choose from.

Most of the renominated former ministers belong to the "pro-Jonathan" camp, while those excluded from it belong to the "pro-Yar'adua" group of former ministers. Among those our sources said "are not on the list" sent for security screening include former FCT Minister Mohamed Adamu Aliero, former Agriculture Minister Abba Sayyadi Ruma, former Works Minister Dr. Mohamed Hassan Lawal, former Minister of State for Communications Ikira Aliyu Bilbis, former Minister of Niger Delta Chief Ufot Ekaette and former Minister of State for Education, Aishatu Jibril Dukku. All these men were known Yar'adua loyalists, while Mrs Dukku was very close to Hajia Turai Yar'adua.

Among the big names said to have been nominated as new ministers include former Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Bello Masari from Katsina State and Adamu Maina Waziri from Yobe State. However, Daily Trust learnt in Katsina that Governor Ibrahim Shema has nominated his close confidants, the Commissioner for Works Architect Musa Sada, Ali Hussaini Dutsinma, former Group Managing Director of the NNPC Abubakar Lawal Yar'adua and Kabir Saidu Daura. Daura is said to be a close ally of the National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau.

In Bauchi State, Governor Isa Yuguda is said to be playing his cards close to his chest, but our reporter learnt that Senator Bala Mohammed Duguri is being considered because he was a front liner in the elevation of Jonathan to Acting President. Former Police Affairs Minister Ibrahim Yakubu Lame, who was nominated to Yar'adua's cabinet by the Northern Union, is said to be still in contention, even though Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mahmud Yayale Ahmed is also believed to nominate others.

In Plateau State, Daily Trust learnt that Governor Jonah Jang may have nominated Bulus Kewa, his long time associate. Kewa hails from Mangu Local Government, home of former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Bagudu Hirse. Also being touted is Barrister Danjuma Maina from the Mwghavul tribe where Hirse comes from, even though Jang is preparing to appoint Maina as Director General of his 2011 re-election campaign.

From Adamawa State, although former Minister of State for Health Aliyu Idi Hong is said to be on the list already sent to the SSS, other nominees such as Abdulrahman Adamu, Ambassador Hassan Tukur as well as Umaru Aliyu Sarkin Yamma are said to be in contention. Aliyu is a close associate of Governor Murtala Nyako.

From Yobe State, Daily Trust learnt that former Army Chief General Alwali Kazir, believed to be backed by Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, and former Minister of State for Agriculture Adamu Maina Waziri is on the list of nominees. Waziri is a member of the Ken Nnamani-led Good Governance Group (G3) that has fronted for the transfer of power from Yar'adua to Jonathan.

The nominees from Kano State, according to Daily Trust's findings include Ibrahim Yakubu Waziri, Magaji Mu'azu and El-Nafaty, while those that make the list from neighbouring Jigawa State are Ambassador to Turkey Abdulhamid Ahmed Malam Madori, former governor Ali Sa'ad Birnin Kudu, who is an Obasanjo man, and Hassan Alhaji Haruna, a former minister.

In Borno State, some of the names being peddled are Ambassador Saidu Pindar, Senator Abbah Aji, Nicolas Mshelia, former Minister of National Planning Sanusi Daggash and Waziri Bulama.

The list from Kaduna State is said to include Dr. Dogara Mato, who is said to be from the camp of the former governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi. The one time chairman of Lere Local Government is said to be nominated to demonstrate that the reconciliation between Governor Namadi Sambo and his predecessor Makarfi is real.

In Zamfara State, Kabiru Marafa, political godson of the NSA General Aliyu Gusau has made the list. Marafa recently retired from Governor Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi's cabinet when he was moved from the Ministry of Education to another ministry.

For Taraba State, Daily Trust learnt that Alhassan Zaku, former Minister in the dissolved cabinet may be returned. However, there are strong indications that Jonah Katabs, member of Governor Suntai's kitchen cabinet, may have been nominated.

Indications in Lagos were that former Minister of State for Agriculture Ademola Seriki may be re-appointed. Also, the High Commissioner to Ghana and former PDP gubernatorial candidate Musiliu Obanikoro may be considered.

In Oyo state, Remi Babalola, the former minister of state for Finance may be returned. From Ondo state, it is almost certain that the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General Mr Adetokunbo Kayode will stage a comeback. He was very close to the Acting President and his role in the confirmation saga was quite noticeable.

Meanwhile, there were indications emerged last night that the planned choice of Ogun State Commissioner for Water Resources Mr. Kola Onadipe for a ministerial position met with strong resistance.

The protest from Yewa division adduced injustice and lack of fairness to the division if the nomination sails through.

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