By Uche Mbah
There are serious indications that the ministerial list may be delayed again this year due to the internal crisis engulfing the ruling All progressives Congress Party. In any case, even if the list is ready, the Senate may not be in a position to debate on it until after two weeks.
The ninth Assembly, after their inaugural sitting, only debated whether the presidential speech on June 12 should be analyzed by the senate, a motion thrown out by the new Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. Opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP sees that as a confirmation that the new senate will be a rubber stamp Senate.
The President is yet to submit any list to the senate.
This magazine gathered that there are flashpoints of disagreements where the APC does not have a governor. Places like Rivers, Enugu, -in fact, virtually all South east and South south states-are having problems presenting consensus candidates for ministerial appointments.
For example, Akinwumi Ambode is fighting a titanic battle with the Tinubu structure for the Lagos slot. Though the Presidency may have soft spot for the former governor, the recent move to placate the possible cross carpet of Bola Tinubu to PDP may swing the pendulum away from Ambode.
In Rivers, the return of Rotimi Amaechi is a battle that is being fiercely fought.
This scenario is generally repeated in other non APC states.
This Magazine gathered that the ministerial compilation itself has become a battle of influence within the party. Though it is alleged that the list is being vigorously vetted by the Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, the former Presidential chief of Staff, Abba Kyari (who is likely to retain his position), elder Mamman Daura and Isa Funtua, it may be a long time before they come to consensus over some of the suggested names on the list.
In 2015, it took six months to ratify the list of minister, a situation that resulted in economic slowdown as investors adopted the wait and see approach. That singular act allegedly resulted in Nigeria going into recession.
Besides the fact that the Senate is currently on recess, they are again billed to go on another recess by end of July to reconvene in September. “So it is imperative that every issue concerning the Ministerial list ought to be finished before July. Otherwise it will have to wait till September”, a source told this Magazine.