Ministerial List: How Buhari’s Last Minute Change Favoured Ngige
After a long wait, President Muhammadu Buhari finally submitted the list of his cabinet to the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.
The president has been at the receiving end of harsh criticisms by angry Nigerians over his ‘deliberate’ refusal to unveil his ministers three months after assuming office.
The president had anchored the reason for the delay on the ground that he needed time to select those who were credible and trustworthy to run the affairs of the nation with him.
DAILY POST reports that the list, which was submitted to the senate president, Bukola Saraki yesterday by Buhari’s Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Itan Enang would be officially made public at the next plenary on Tuesday.
However, report has it that among those penned down for ministerial appointments were, immediate past governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, former Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, former lawmaker, Chris Ngige and erstwhile governor of old Anambra State, Ogbonaya Onu, among others.
However, sources told DAILY POST that Chris Ngige’s name came in at the eleventh hour.
According to a top presidency source, President Buhari, who has been constantly accused of marginalizing Ndigbo over their refusal to support him during the election, didn’t have it in mind to appoint Ngige.
The source told DAILY POST that Ngige’s appointment was done to mainly compensate Ndigbo.
“Ngige was not part of the first list of people compiled, I can tell you that. His name came at the eleventh hour. The president had a change of mind because of the complaints in many quarters that he was punishing the south east region because of their refusal to vote for him during the election.
“It took the intervention of some close associates and aides for the appointment of Ngige.”
Asked if president Buhari was truly angry with the south easterners because of the outcome of the election, the source said the president had nothing against them.
“See, that notion is wrong. The good thing is that Buhari has won the election and that is it. Where the vote came from is not the main issue now. Remember, he said he belongs to nobody and belongs to everybody,” the source added.