•Technocrats said to dominate list, Tinubu sought prayers to make right choice – Senate Leader
•NBA tasks appointees on security, APC elders fume over Jonathan’s move to pick Bayelsa candidate
Nigerians have demanded economic growth as President Bola Tinubu is expected to submit the much-awaited ministerial list to the National Assembly in the next 24 hours for screening.
A presidential aide, who demanded anonymity in a chat with The PUNCH, on Tuesday, said the President stretched the submission of the list to the last days to ensure that the list was inclusive and reflective of what was best for the country.
The list, which is expected to be a mixture of technocrats and tested politicians, the source revealed, would have more technocrats who would help drive the President’s Renewed Hope agenda for the next four years.
The Fifth Amendment to the 1999 Constitution mandates the president and governors to submit the names of their ministerial and commissioner-nominees within 60 days of taking the oath of office for confirmation by the Senate or state House of Assembly.
Tinubu, who was sworn in as President on May 29, has to submit his ministerial list to the Senate before July 29 as stipulated by law.
Speaking against the backdrop of the constitutional deadline, the presidential aide said, “President Bola Tinubu will transmit the ministerial list to the National Assembly tomorrow (today). He has stretched the transmission of the list to the federal lawmakers to ensure that he gets it right. One thing is certain, the list is going to be a mixture of technocrats and tested politicians.
“The President has made it clear that his decisions for the next four years, starting with the ministerial list, would be guided by what is right for Nigeria and not political considerations.”
When pressed for the names on the list, another aide, who did not want his name mentioned, said, “One thing we have been told is that the ministerial list is something the Commander-in-Chief is keeping close to his chest.”
However, in the last few weeks, various names had been bandied around as possible ministerial nominees, including former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai; ex-Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike; Wale Edun; the Special Adviser, Monetary Policies and a host of technocrats and politicians.
Tinubu sought prayers
Meanwhile, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, on Tuesday, said the President sought prayers of Nigerians for him to make the right choice.
Bamidele disclosed this while speaking in Abuja at his 60th birthday lecture and book presentation titled: “Leadership through Communication.”
Bamidele said Tinubu, who was billed to be the father of the day, called to say he could not make it to the event because of ongoing work to ensure that the ministerial list is delivered to the Senate in the next 48 hours.
He said, “At 10.03am this morning, Mr President, was on the phone. He said to me ‘Opeyemi, I need to make myself unavailable in the next 48 hours because a correspondence must come to the Senate, a very crucial correspondence.’
“Mr President prayed for me. He asked me to give the phone to my wife and he prayed for my wife.
“He said the two of us should join the rest of Nigerians and pray for him to be able to make the right decision on the list in 24 hours so that when Nigerians hear the list of his ministers they will say ‘yes, this is uncommon.’”
Agitation in Bayelsa
Meanwhile, some stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State have kicked against alleged desperate attempts by former President Goodluck Jonathan to nominate the person for the state’s ministerial slot in Tinubu’s cabinet.
The stakeholders under the auspices of the Bayelsa APC Elders Council condemned Jonathan’s move, saying it was wrong for him to reap where he did not show.
Speaking in Yenagoa on Tuesday, the chairman of the elders’ council, Chief Michael Adomokeme, wondered why the former President was angling to produce a minister after actively and openly supporting the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, during the 2023 presidential election.
He said Jonathan was threading the path of unfairness and injustice, stressing that his desperation could be likened to someone seeking to receive salaries from a company he did not work for.
Adomokeme, however, expressed confidence that Tinubu, as ‘’a known rewarder of hard work, would not allow a situation of ‘monkey work, baboon chop’.”
The APC elder said, “People shouldn’t try to reap where they have never sowed. Some of us have been here since the early days of this party when it was considered to be taboo just by being a member.
“You all remember, APC in Bayelsa was called either Islamic party or Hausa party by these same people; I mean, Jonathan and his people. Fast forward to the 2023 elections, President Jonathan did everything to make sure we failed, but we didn’t as God would have it. What right has he to suddenly want to now nominate the minister from Bayelsa State?”
Some capital market operators, on Tuesday, stated that the ministerial list and the portfolios of the ministers would have an impact on the sustainability of the bullish run of the market.
Nigerians set agenda
Ahead of the expected unveiling of the ministerial nominees today, different professional and trade union associations have set agenda for the incoming Federal Executive Council members even as they demanded the appointment of competent persons to drive national development.
The Nigerian Bar Association said the President and his ministers must improve the security situation in the country.
Speaking in an interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday, the NBA Publicity Secretary, Habib Lawal, also urged the President and his ministers to scale up investment in agriculture.
Lawal said, “They must look critically at the peculiarities of our security situation and design bespoke measures to deal with them while ensuring that continental, cross-border and international collaborations are carefully exploited to deal with our security challenges.
‘’We must consider diplomatic strategies to address these issues because of the global trends in security. Also, the government must deliberately and heavily invest in agriculture among other sectors of our economy. We expect that commensurate investment will be made to actualise the enthronement of the rule of law and to build that judiciary that can be trusted to deliver justice and strengthen our institutions.”