Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Engr. Segun Oni and the National Publicity secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed are currently jostling for a place in the cabinet of the president Muhammadu Buhari as ministers, Similarly, five other members of the party’s National Working Committee, have also indicated interest in various ministerial positions. President Buhari, is expected to send the list of his ministers to the National Assembly this week as both chambers of the federal parliament resume plenary today and that he is not that much happy with the APC’s demand to be part of his cabinet.
A source at the national party secretariat in Abuja who craved anonymity said that Oni who was the former governor of Ekiti State was banking on the slot of the state. The source added that his chances might be brighter as the present governor of his state, Ayo Fayose who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is not likely to be given the opportunity of nominating a candidate. He however expressed fear that Oni might run into difficulty with another former governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who also played a visible role in the emergence of president Buhari. It will be recalled that Fayemi was the Director, Research Policy, and Strategy Directorate of the APC presidential campaign Organization.
For Mohammed, his chances were slim as he would have to battle with the senate president and former governor of his home state, Dr. Bukola Saraki as well as Ahaji Kawu Baraje, the former chairman of the PDP who led the defection of G5 governors to APC in 2013. Other APC NWC members said to be eyeing various ministerial positions included the National Vice Chairman (North-east) Engr. David B. Lawal from Adamawa, National Youth Leader, Alhaji Dasuki Jalo from Gombe, National Women Leader, Alhaja Ramatu Tijjani from Kogi state and Emmanuel Eneukwu from Enugu state. We gathered that the members last week in a meeting disclosed their intentions to APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun urging him to transmit same to president Buhari. But the source stated that the demands did not receive the endorsement of Oyegun who frowned at them. Last week was only a reminder as the members had earlier muted the idea and persuaded Oyegun to convey it to President Buhari but the chairman who the source said sought Buhari’s consent on the matter at Defence House in Abuja could not deliver the message. “When the NWC members met with Buhari on the issue of ministerial appointment, though the national chairman refused to tender the request of some NWC members who want to be ministers to President Buhari, the only thing he told him was for his leadership to be carried along in the process. “But it seems President Buhari knew what was about to happen, he told the party leaders right there not to contemplate becoming part of his cabinet, he told them to stay where they are and build a strong party”, he said. Meanwhile, the NWC meeting of the party was expected to hold a meeting yesterday to resolve the crisis in the party occasioned by the elections of the new leaders of the National Assembly. The meeting was yet to commence as at the time of filing the report.