To ensure that it hits the ground running after the May 29 hand-over, President-elect, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), has started putting together his cabinet. He has directed governors elected on the platform of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to forward the names of their ministerial nominees and the governors have started responding, Vanguard gathered, yesterday.Three names are to be submitted by each state.A South-East governor, last week, told stakeholders in the zone to immediately comply.
According to Vanguard, while giving the directive, Buhari also left at least two criteria the governors must meet in nominating people for the appointment.
One of the conditions is the candidates must be technically competent and of proven integrity. The second condition is the person must be loyal to the party.
APC faithful to be considered first
By this, a source said that Buhari indirectly laid emphasis on the need to field the names of founding members of the party and not defectors from other political parties.
The President-elect, it was gathered, also told the governors that he reserved the right to choose anyone from the three names submitted by each governor.
Lean cabinet Vanguard also gathered that Buhari may run a lean cabinet where the status quo is 42 ministers. A source, who craved anonymity, told Vanguard that Buhari may also eliminate the slots for ministers of state to reduce the cost of governance.
However, the source said that there is pressure on Buhari from his party to accommodate ministers of state to “at least compensate women in the party.” “Left to Buhari, he wouldn’t have more than 20 ministers but there is a lot of pressure on him to use it to compensate the women,” the source disclosed.
Apart from compensating women and other party faithful, Buhari is also bound by the constitution to choose at least one minister from each state of the federation.
On whether he would toe that path, another source, who is a member of the National Assembly, said “unless, he would want to amend the constitution, he is obligated to run a broad cabinet.”
APC govs to meet Buhari today Meanwhile, APC governors would be meeting with the president-elect today.
Though the meeting appears to be a congratulatory one, Vanguard learned that issues relating to the party’s interests would be discussed. Such issues include the lingering imbroglio surrounding the zoning of National Assembly leadership slots like Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives among others.
It was learned that zones jostling for the positions had been asked to meet at the zonal level with their National Assembly members to come out with a harmonised position on the issue to enable the Buhari/Oyegun committee set up for that purpose to take a stand on it.