• Murtala Yar’Adua also
Former Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey; his former counterparts at the Ministries of Transport; Finance and Commerce, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio, Mr. Remi Babalola and Mr. Humphrey Abbah, respectively, yesterday appeared at the office of the State Security Service (SSS) for screening ahead of their nomination as ministers by Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.
Odey will represent Cross River State in the cabinet while Bio, Babalola and Abbah are from Kwara, Oyo and Kogi States respectively.
The screening of Bio by the SSS has resolved the hitherto raging battle in Kwara State over who should get the ministerial nomination from the north-central state.
THISDAY had reported that former Minister of Defence and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC), Lt-Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, was said to be rooting for Mr. John Dara, who was his Special Assistant when he was minister while former President Ibrahim Babangida and Jonathan’s wife, Patience, were said to be pushing Mrs. Bola Shagaya’s candidature.
The patriarch of the state politics and Second Republic Senate Leader, Dr. Olusola Saraki, was reported to have, through his daughter, Senator Gbemi Saraki-Fowora, rooted for former Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr. Femi Ogunshola, for the ministerial job. Femi is the son of Prof. Albert Ogunshola, a loyalist of the former Senate leader.
Similarly, Odey’s screening by the security operatives has ended the disagreement among leaders of the PDP in Cross River State over who should be appointed minister by Jonathan. THISDAY had reported last week that stakeholders in the state were locked in horse-trading over the slot.
Some leaders in the state had wanted the slot to remain in Cross River North Senatorial district while others preferred the position to move to Cross River Central where the present Governor Liyel Imoke comes from.
Oyo State also had presented a scenario that was similar to what was playing out in both Kwara and Cross River States. It was reported that while the State Governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola Alao, backed Babalola to return, the PDP leaders in the state were out against Babalola’s candidature.
The PDP leaders, THISDAY learnt, did not want the former minister of state because, according to them, he was not a party man and was more of an Abuja-based politician.
Abbah would join his compatriot from Kogi State, Bello Adoke (SAN) in the cabinet, but he would be representing the north central senatorial zone in the cabinet.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Murtala Yar’Adua, son of late Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Maj-Gen Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, the elder brother President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, was among the 22 minister-to-be who appeared for SSS screening yesterday.
This means Murtala will appear for Senate’s screening that beginning tomorrow.
Although, the source declined to unveil the full list of the 22 nominees who went for the screening yesterday, THISDAY, however, gathered that among those interviewed by the security officials are former Minister of State (Petroleum), Mr. Odein Ajumogobia (SAN); former Minister of National Planning, Senator Sanusi Daggash; former Minister of Youths Development, Mr. Akinlabi Olasunkanmi; and Senator Bala Muhammed, who was said to be one of the arrow heads of the pro-Jonathan Senators in the Senate during the height of Yar’Adua’s absence from the country for medical treatment.
Others are representative of Zamfara State on the list, Alhaji Bello Sulaiman and former First Lady of Plateau State, Mrs. Josephine Tapgun.
Jonathan had forwarded 33 names to the Senate last week for confirmation but six states namely Cross River, Kwara, Benue, Oyo, Adamawa and Ebonyi did not have nominees in that list of 33.
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