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Opinion

Understanding Tinubu’s Cabinet (Campaign Team) -By Emmanuel Aziken

After months of dithering procrastination, President Bola Tinubu on Thursday submitted a list of 28 nominees to serve as his ministers to the Senate.

The president has been hailed by the Amen Corner of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and even by some critical elements in the polity for fulfilling the 60-day deadline imposed by the Constitution on the submission of ministerial nominees.

The president has also been applauded for picking some technocrats and bringing in a salutary number of women and youths into the cabinet.

The fulfillment of the 60-day deadline is against the background of the six-month period his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari took in 2015 to constitute his cabinet.

However, the fact that President Tinubu was only able to come up with 28 names from 26 states means that at least 10 more names are outstanding, including from Tinubu’s Lagos State.

There is now a constitutional puzzle as to whether the president was right in submitting his list in batches. It is a shock to many, including the president’s supporters that he has taken 60 days to come up with 28 persons to work with him in the Renewed Hope agenda given the acclaim he has received as a master politician with a network around the country.

This is more surprising given the fact that prior to his inauguration that Tinubu travelled out of the country to isolate himself to lay out the plans and people he was going to work with.

In other climes, cabinet members are even constituted before the inauguration of the president.

In appraising the nominees, the president has been hailed for bringing in a mix of technocrats and politicians into the cabinet. Foremost of the technocrats is Dr Ali Pate who gave up his appointment to lead a global vaccine advocacy agency.

Besides Pate there is Wale Edun, a well- known finance expert who has partnered with Tinubu in his political odyssey.

Mallam Nasir El-Rufai could also have counted as a technocrat given his past advocacy for the projection of experts in the FCT and in Kaduna State. However, his recent political exploits make him now more of a politician than otherwise.

The list was otherwise suffused with politicians. The insinuations are that Tinubu is mobilising a campaign team ahead of what some project to be a possible rerun they claim is to be ordered by the Supreme Court.

It is in this wise according to the projection that President Tinubu has recruited the Northwest governors under who banditry and poverty festered in the region once known for its tranquillity.

It is a known fact that the Northwest, even more than the Southwest, delivered the election to Tinubu. Many of those governors who did the magic have now been compensated either by directly being nominated or sending in their surrogates. However, Tinubu was stuck in one state, Kano. The president has undoubtedly been brought to his wits end on how to manage the difficult war of attrition between his best man, Abdullahi Ganduje and the real owner of Kano, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.

After the forced resignation of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the national chairman of the APC, Ganduje has been convinced to become the next chairman instead of the FCT portfolio that had been insinuated. The proposal to appoint Ganduje as national chairman is despite the dollar bribery scandal that is still unfolding at his last duty post in Kano.

Indeed, Tinubu’s permutations on Ganduje has already forced the national vice-chairman of the party, Comrade Lukman Salihu to resign his position.

Salihu, who prompted the resignation of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Senator Adamu from the office of national chairman was widely seen as the enfant terrible of the APC.

Remarkably, he made his decision to resign and ‘siddon look’, hours after Ganduje, apparently prompted by the Villa declared his intention to vie for the office of national chairman.

The determination of President Tinubu to appoint Ganduje as national chairman of the ruling party indeed may reflect the degree to which he values the ethos that many desire of the president on the issues of corruption and such.

Indeed, across the list there are indications here and there of political compromises being the motif in the selection of the cabinet. It is, however, shocking that the president’s media team has been lacklustre in extricating him from the labyrinth his failures may have dragged him into.

In some of the states, the selection of the nominees was obviously made by the president’s proxies which may eventually lead to political implications in the states.

How Betta Edu, a non-indigene emerged as a second nominee from Cross River ahead of Senator Ben Ayade ought to have been explained. In Delta State, the surprising emergence of Stella Okotete according to stakeholders could immobilise the party to the benefit of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In Edo State, the emergence of Comrade Oshiomhole’s man, Abubakar Momoh may have sealed the hope of zoning of the governorship as the Bini will now be emboldened to hold on to the governorship.

The emergence of Nyesom Wike despite his earlier claims that he does not want to be minister again has put him on the spot. At the weekend, video clips showing Wike saying he does not want to be minister or join the APC, a party he described as having stage 4 cancer were trending.

Whereas Wike may have done well in the delivery of infrastructure, his selling point which more than qualified him for the CAMPAIGN team was his ability to deliver Tinubu in Rivers.

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