ETHNIC politics appears not set to leave the Nigerian shores anytime soon. This is because of the intense pressures currently being mounted on acting President Goodluck Jonathan by some emirs and prominent leaders in the Northern part of the country that their candidate be allocated “juicy” ministries.
Reports in some national dailies (the Nigerian Compass not included) that some Muslim clerics met with ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua on Thursday, were part of a deliberate plot to check the acting president from “marginalising” the north in the emerging cabinet.
The prominent persons from the north are said to be determined to ensure that the geo-political bloc retains some strategic ministries, especially Finance, Federal Capital Territory, Petroleum as well as Agriculture and Water Resources.
According to Presidency sources, because of the intense lobby for juicy portfolios, Dr Jonathan has decided to keep the allocations to his chest and may not announce it until the day the ministers are sworn-in.
In yet another dramatic scenario that is playing out in the high-tension politics of controlling the nation, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his estranged friend Theophilus Danjuma; and former Works Minister, Chief Tony Anenih are making moves to position their candidates for the juicy petroleum ministry. Also on the cards are such key ministries as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Works, Transport and Justice that are considered strategic towards the 2011 elections.
Impeccable sources told Nigerian Compass on Saturday that save for Obasanjo and Danjuma, and contrary to reports that the Acting President Jonathan had selected technocrats to help move Nigeria forward, many of the ministerial-designates are either broke professional politicians or backed by bankrupt politicians in a desperate need for financial rehabilitation.
The minister-designates and some of perceived their godfathers are said to be lobbying aggressively for juicy portfolios, particularly the Oil ministry, Works and Housing, FCT and Transport.
“We have never seen such lobbying amongst ministerial-designates,” said a source who craves anonymity.
The source further hinted that one of the minister-designates from Ogun State, Chief Jubril Martins-Kuye, who is over 70 years has become a sore point in the Jonathan “rejuvenated cabinet”
Our checks reveal that leading the bid to have their men in control of the oil ministry are Danjuma, Obasanjo and former Works and Housing Minister, Chief Tony Anenih.
Godsonic Oil and Gas is one of the strings of companies Chief Anenih uses to operate his oil block. Anenih enjoyed considerable patronage under President Obasanjo, before the relationship was strained. With the nomination of his ex- wife, Josephine, there are fears that Obasanjo may be out to go for Anenih’s jugular.
Chief Anenih, who is believed to have nominated Engr. Chris Ogienwonyi, is also leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that his candidate, who has the appropriate prerequisites gets the plum job.
This development may have put the Acting President in a fix as he has so many interests to satisfy, especially those who have promised to help stabilise his government.
The 38 ministers-designate will be sworn-in on Tuesday, it was learnt yesterday. The decision to swear them in on that day, it was gathered, was to enable the ministers prepare for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
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