Ahead of the May 29th, 2023, swearing-in of a new government, political bigwigs from the South-West have begun jostling for ministerial slots in the administration of President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
With Tinubu expected to name his cabinet in less than a month after his swearing-in, lobbying for ministerial slots among some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has commenced.
Section 147(3) speaks on the need to appoint a minister from each state of the federation, reinforcing Section 14(3) in terms of ensuring that the federal character of Nigeria is reflected in the appointment of ministers.
The Nigerian constitution enjoins the president to ensure that a minister is appointed from each state of the federation.
APC chieftains jostling for positions in Tinubu’s cabinet in Lagos State are former Governor Babatunde Fashola, who is the incumbent Minister of Works and Housing; Minister of Science and Technology, Olorunnimbe Mamora; ex-Commissioner for Finance in the state, Wale Edun; erstwhile Minister of State for Defence, Musliu Obanikoro; a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and the state Commissioner for Environment, Tunji Bello.
The contenders in Oyo are the APC governorship candidate in the state, Senator Teslim Folarin; his Accord Party counterpart, Adebayo Adelabu; former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; Executive Secretary, National Sugar Development Council, Zach Adedeji; Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, and Senator Rilwan Akanbi.
Those in contention in Ekiti State are former Governor Kayode Fayemi; ex-Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Dele Alake, and a former Minister of State for Works, Dayo Adeyeye.
The source said: “There’s no disputing the fact that most of Tinubu’s political associates in the South-West have their eyes on the cabinet, but I will tell you that it is going to be a tough one to predict those who will make it, given their respective pedigrees.
“How can one dismiss Fashola, who not only served as Chief of Staff to Tinubu, but later succeeded him as governor of Lagos State, or Wale Edun and Dele Alake, who served as commissioners under Tinubu?
“Are we also talking about Fayemi, Tunji Bello, Sunday Dare, Mamora or Adeyeye, who is the brain behind the South West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA), which was in the forefront of Tinubu’s presidential project?”
Asked how Tinubu will accommodate these Associates, the source said besides Wale Edun, who has been tipped to lead Tinubu’s economic team as Minister of Finance, Fashola is likely to return to the federal cabinet on geopolitical consideration.
On who is likely to get the ministerial slot for Oyo State, the source said it is almost a done deal for Senator Folarin as a sort of compensation for his loss of the governorship position although Dare is in strong contention.
The source, however, said that it is a dicey situation in Ekiti, where Fayemi, Alake and Adeyeye hail from.
According to him, Fayemi is eminently qualified to make the cabinet, given his experience as a two-term governor and former minister, but it would be difficult for Tinubu to drop Alake, who has been his close ally since his days as governor.
“You will recall that Alake served as Director of Strategic Communication of the APC Presidential Campaign Council for the 2023 elections, while the role by the Adeyeye-led SWAGA in mobilising support for Tinubu right from the onset cannot be overemphasized. So, it is a difficult moment for the President-elect as he pencils down members of his cabinet.
“However, given that Tinubu is a man blessed with uncanny ability to identify political as well as electoral assets, I have no fear that he will navigate the situation and come up with a list that will not only accommodate all interests but personalities, who deliver on his campaign promises,” the source said.