Buhari cabinet: Govs Senators, Reps, lose power to pick nominees ….. NATION

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• Buhari may reject governors’ list

Contrary to what obtained in the last 16 years, state governors appeared to have lost influence to make input into the appointment of ministers.

The governors, especially those elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have found it difficult to penetrate President Muhammadu Buhari to pick their nominees as ministers.

Also, some Senators, who are godfathers in their states, might be unable to install their stooges as ministers.

In deference to the principle of Separation of Powers, there were indications that Buhari may not accept imposition of nominees on him by some leaders of the National Assembly.

But the jostle for ministerial ticket is assuming a hot race in Kwara, Sokoto, Gombe, Enugu, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Kaduna, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, and Bauchi,

Investigation by our correspondent showed that apart from deference to party supremacy, President Buhari has largely been his own man in appointing members of his cabinet.

It was learnt that although some governors had attempted to recommend some nominees, the president is insisting on merit.

The same dilemma is confronting some influential Senators and leaders of the House of Representatives.

According to findings, Buhari is sticking to the principle of separation of powers instead of throwing the ministerial nomination open.

The discipline being employed by the president in choosing his cabinet members accounted for the delay in appointing commissioners in some states.

It was gathered that the governors prefer to compensate their loyalists, who may be schemed out of ministerial slots, as commissioners.

A reliable source said: “Unlike in the past, most governors are stranded this because the president will not ask them to nominate ministers. Some of them attempted to make recommendations but did not succeed.

“In fact, the same game is playing out with influential Senators who have found it difficult to lobby for their candidates as ministerial nominees.

“Buhari is trying to be his own man as far as the choice of ministers is concerned. The only thing he reckons with is party supremacy. He also wants to adhere to constitutional provision on the appointment of ministers.

“The governors could not have their way because Buhari has refused to ask for any office slot or favour from any governor, including his own governor, Aminu Masari of Katsina State.”

As at press time, investigation confirmed that the jostle for ministerial slot is keen in Kwara, Sokoto, Gombe, Enugu, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Niger, Delta, Edo, Kogi, and Adamawa.

Some godfathers in the affected states were said to be panicking because of recent political developments in the country, especially in the National Assembly.

Another source said: “Those who have no respect for party supremacy cannot recommend or nominate ministers. Respect begets respect.

“This is why the president is looking for credible hands whom they cannot disqualify under a flimsy excuse or the other.”

THE NATION had exclusively reported that the president is on the final lap of consultations with some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

It was learnt that the president has met with some leaders of the party on the shape of his cabinet, those who may be on board and what he intends to do.

But he is yet to unveil his list of cabinet members to the leadership of the party.

It was unclear if the President will reduce the size of the cabinet from 42 to 36 or a lower figure.

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.”