As Nigerians await the list of new ministers being considered by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan, indications are rife that the core loyalists of ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua are plotting a fight back by muzzling the attempt to reconstitute the cabinet by Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan.
Sunday Tribune gathered from government circles that Yar’Adua loyalists are working in concert with former governors who had formed a pillar of support for Yar’Adua government had concluded plans to take a court action to halt the planned cabinet re-composition by the Acting President.They are to argue in court through a surrogate group that the Acting President lacked the power to sack and re-constitute the cabinet, since according to them, he was not sworn in to be fully in charge of governance.
The planned effort by the Yar’Adua loyalists, Sunday Tribune gathered was an indication that they were about to challenge the Senate Resolution empowering Jonathan to be Acting President in a court of law.
The actors are already boasting that the court would be sympathetic to their sentiment, on consideration that the top echelon of the Judiciary at the moment has been pro-Yar’Adua.
Indication that the Yar’Adua men were not at peace with Jonathan for daring to sack them had emerged shortly after the sack of the cabinet was announced last week, as some of them, mostly from the north, reportedly held meetings where they initially resolved not to accept the sack.
The move to challenge Jonathan’s authority to sack ministers, Sunday Tribune gathered was to slow down the process of governance as a measure to buy more time for the ailing President to further regain strength, and all the same prevent the Acting president from taking more major decisions.
Meanwhile, the private residence of General Theophilus Danjuma in Abuja has become a Mecca of a sort as lobbyists hoping to get ministerial slots had been falling over one another to get the favour of the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council.
Lobbyists who had been trooping to Danjuma’s residence include retired Generals, members of the recently sacked Executive Council of the Federation (EXCOF) including some loyalists of Hajiya Turai.
Yar’Adua and favourites of state governors whose names had reportedly been dropped by their respective governors.
All the same, some smart Alecs in the corridors of power have been cashing-in on the desperation of the lobbyists to demand huge sums ranging from N10 to N50 million from many of them with promises of helping to facilitate their becoming ministers or Special Advisers if they paid up.
The activities of the cabal, Sunday Tribune learnt had been brought to the notice of the Acting President and General Danjuma both of whom had reportedly vowed to screen personalities to be shortlisted to the letter with a view to blocking the desperados among them from emerging as cabinet members.
Checks have, however revealed that the final list of shortlisted ministers had reached the Acting President, who reportedly held a long meeting with General Danjuma and the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Vincent Ogbulafor on Friday night.
Although the nature of the new cabinet was yet to be made available as at weekend, Sunday Tribune learnt that the issue of ethnic and religious balancing was given strict consideration in selection process, such that the list if finally released, would not be biased to a particular ethnic group, contrary to existing practice.
The list, according to a government official would be made available to the National Security Adviser (NSA), General Aliyu Gusau on Monday, while names of shortlisted nominees are expected to be passed on to the State Security Services on Tuesday for screening.
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