From FRANCIS AWOWOLE-BROWNE:
• My appointment won’t make me abandon family –Murtala
• Real reason he accepted the job
Murtala, President Umaru Yar’Adua’s nephew and ministerial nominee has assured the family that his acceptance to serve under Acting President Goodluck Jonathan would not make him abandon the family.
The assurance came following intense pressure from the President Umaru Yar’Adua’s camp on him to turn down the offer.
Daily Sun gathered in Abuja that Murtala, son of the late former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua had come under pressures from the President’s camp, who prevailed on him to reject the appointment on sensing that his name was being touted as one of the ministerial nominees.
The Yar’Adua camp led by a minister in the sacked Federal Executive Council had approached Murtala, telling him that the nomination was meant to politically spite the ailing President and cause division within the family.
The support of some Emirs was also said to have been sought to prevail on Murtala to decline the ministerial offer.
However, sources close to the ministerial nominee disclosed that a similar emissary was also raised by the Acting President’s camp to talk to the junior Yar’Adua on why he should accept the offer, saying there was no motive attached to his nomination.
At the end of the day, Murtala was said to have chosen to take the appointment as a call to national duty rather than seeing it from the narrow perspective of political patronage to consolidate power by any group.
Sources revealed that Murtala also assured that his appointment as a minister would not affect his relationship with the rest of the Yar’Adua family or neither would it make him to shirk his responsibilities to the family.
The offer to Murtala, the President’s nephew, Daily Sun learnt, is seen as a move to check First Lady, Hajia Turai’s ‘excesses’. Sources said Murtala and the President’s wife may not be on speaking terms. In fact, Murtala was said to be the Yar’Adua family’s choice to checkmate Turai.
Murtala’s name is among the fresh ministerial nominees among the 32 announced on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, by Senate President David Mark as being a communication from the Acting President through his Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.
“Murtala has told his family members and the political group of the President that he has made up his mind to accept the ministerial job. But he assured them that nobody can use him against his family as his appointment is purely to contribute to the positive governance of the country.
“I am sure the Murtala decision may not have gone down well with the opposing camp but he has decided on what he wants”, the source confided in Daily Sun.
Meanwhile, a list of 32 ministerial nominees was read out on the floor of the Senate for approval on Wednesday. The list of names which did not give portfolios consisted of nine members of the outgoing cabinet, and 24 new members. The names were classified under two categories, re-appointments and fresh nominees.
“I forward herewith the names of the first batch of nominees for appointment as ministers of government … for the consideration and confirmation of the Senate,” Senate President David Mark said before reading out the list.
Those making a comeback from the outgoing cabinet include former Information Minister Dora Akunyili, former Justice Minister Adetokunbo Kayode, former National Planning Minister Shamusideen Usman and former Minister of State for the Niger Delta Godsday Orubebe.
Others are Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, Mr. Godswill Orubebe and Mr. Odien Ajumogobia and Senator Akinlabi Olasunkanmi.
The fresh nominees include, Mrs. Josephine Anenih, Senator Sanusi Dagaash, Mr. Chris Ogienwonyi and Mr. Olusegun Aganga.
One time minister of state for finance, Senator Jubril Martins-Kuye also made it on this list.
And just like the last cabinet reshuffle by President Yar’Adua, another serving Senator, Bala Mohammed, chairman of the National Integrity Group from Bauchi State has been nominated.
Among the new nominees are Murtala and Jubril Martins Kuye, a one-time finance minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The fresh ministerial nominees are as follows:
Chukwuemeka Wogu, Abia
Josephine Anenih, Anambra
Labaran Maku, Nasarawa
Chris Ogienwonyi, Edo
Sulaimon Bello, Zamfara
Murtala Yar’Adua, Katsina
Senator Sanusi Daggash, Borno
Senator Bala Mohammed, Bauchi
Nduese Essien, Akwa Ibom
Josephine Tapgun, Plateau
Muhammad Adokiye, Kogi
Olusegun Aganga, Lagos
N. S. Olubolade, Ekiti
Adamu Waziri, Yobe
Umaru Aliyu, Taraba
Awodele Alao, Ogun
Abubakar Mohammed, Gombe
Yusuf Sulaiman, Sokoto
Prof. Rubia Rufai, Jigawa
Musa Sada, Katsina
Prof. F. Abdullah, Niger
Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, Imo
Sen. Jubril Martins-Kuje, Ogun
Fidelio Njeze, Enugu
Godsday Orubebe, Delta
Arc. Nuhu Wya, Kaduna
Adetokunbo Kayode [SAN] , Ondo
Odein Ajumogobia [SAN], Rivers
Akinlabi Olasunkanmi, Osun
Dezani Allison-Madueke, Bayelsa
Shamusideen Usman, Kano
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