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Wike, El-Rufai, Oyetola make list as Akpabio unveils ministerial nominees today

The immediate past Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, and his colleague from Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, have made the list of ministerial nominees.

The PUNCH learnt that President Bola Tinubu forwarded the ministerial list to the Senate in the wee hours of Thursday.

The list is coming two days before the President’s deadline as stipulated by the constitution as amended by the ninth Assembly.

Tinubu, according to the 1999 constitution as amended by the Ninth Senate, has barely two days left out of the 60 days deadline stipulated for the President to unveil his cabinet members.

Section 42 of the constitution states that “(a) the nomination of any person to the office of a Minister for confirmation by the Senate shall be done within sixty days after the date the President has taken the oath of office;

(b) not less than ten per cent of persons appointed as Ministers shall be women:

Provided that the President may appoint a Minister at any other time during his tenure and such appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.”

The piece of legislation further prescribes that the President shall appoint at least a minister from each of the 36 states of the federation.

Earlier, the media aide to the Senate President, Jackson Udom, stated that the authentic ministerial list of President Bola Tinubu would be unveiled today.

He further urged Nigerians to stop speculating and wait for the unveiling of the nominees.

Commenting on the purported social media list, he said, “I saw the purported list too just like every other person did, let’s wait till tomorrow (today). Don’t speculate, tomorrow (today), you’ll see the list.”

The PUNCH also learnt that popular economist, Olawale Edun, a former Deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Adebayo Adelabu, the women leader of the All Progressives Congress, Betta Edu, all made the list.

Also on the list is the former Minister of Health under Goodluck Jonathan who recently rejected an international job, Ali Pate.

Others who made the President’s cabinet are Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), former Cross River governor, Ben Ayade, his colleague from Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, and the President’s Special Adviser on Media, Strategy and Special Duties, Dele Alake.

The PUNCH learnt that the President only forwarded the names without portfolios being attached to them.

There have been agitations over the ministerial list particularly due to Tinubu’s long silence over the list.

A number of Nigerians have expressed concern and worry over the delayed formation of the President’s cabinet particularly because after his election, Tinubu had promised Nigerians that he would hit the ground running.

He had also promised credible governance with competent people occupying various positions across the sphere of execution.

In a statement on March 16, Tinubu said he would set up a “government of national competence.

“There has been talk of a government of national unity. My aim is higher than that. I seek a government of national competence. In selecting my government, I shall not be weighed down by considerations extraneous to ability and performance.”

The delay in announcing the cabinet ministers has led to the emergence of several lists of ministers, which the government itself disowned.

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