Anxiety in Abuja over new ministers

There is mounting anxiety over the new ministerial appointment in Abuja with multiple “prospective” lists flying around, touting names of ministerial nominees.

“Right here on my table, I can show you three different types of these lists” a senior state house official, who spoke on condition of anonymity last night, said. He claimed that some desperate politicians hoping to use this as a bargaining chip are responsible for the various ‘ministers lists’ that have found their way to media houses.

Done and dusted

One of the president’s policy advisers who didn’t want to identified said “the Acting President, Mr. Jonathan’s list was ready before the cabinet’s dissolution on the 17th of March 2010 and will surprise Nigerians.” He refused to elaborate further.

In one of the versions of the ministerial list that was sent to NEXT last night, prominent were the names of ministers who were in the dissolved cabinets, but who would be re-appointed. They include:

-Humphrey Enemakwu Abah, former Minister of State for Commerce and Industry

-Sam Egwu, former Minister of Education

-Julius Chuka Odom, former Minister for State Federal Capital Territory

-Shettima Mustafa, former Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources

-Adetokunbo Kayode, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General

-Diezani Alison Madueke, former Minister of Mines and Steel Development.

All eyes on Dora

The most surprising thing about this particular list is the exclusion of the former minister of information, Dora Akunyili, from the list of those to be re-appointed.

Mrs. Akunyili was vocal in asking the cabinet to vote on the ailing president’s health and this, many believe, put her in the good books of Mr. Jonathan.

However, the multiple lists that are making the round are a clear indication that various interest groups are determined to influence the next cabinet appointments.

Last week, the chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, Vincent Ogbulafor, was quick to tell journalists that the party would play a pivotal role in selecting the new cabinet.

However, many Nigerians, including opposition party leaders, have called on Mr. Jonathan to ensure that his cabinet is made up only of people that would put the nation’s interest first.

Prof. Akunyili

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