- President Muhammadu Buhari had last week asked members of his cabinet who have picked forms of the APC for various elective positions to resign
- Sequel to the directive, a valedictory session was organised for the ministers even though some of them have now changed their minds
- In the various states of the ministers, aggressive lobbying and politicking have commenced by those angling to replace them
FCT, Abuja - A report by the Daily Trust newspaper indicates that intense lobbying has commenced in states and Abuja as top shots of the All Progressives Congress (APC) jostle to replace eight ministers who left the federal cabinet last week to pursue their 2023 ambitions.
Reports from Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Imo, Abia, Plateau, and Ondo states, revealed that high power networking has since commenced by those jostling to replace the former federal cabinet members.
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It was gathered that many chieftains of the ruling party in the affected states have been waiting for the exit of the ministers since the introduction of section 84(12) in the Electoral Act, which barred ministers from participating in the party’s convention, congress, and primaries while still serving in office.
In some states, the development rekindled the hopes of aggrieved members of the party to benefit from the government.
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The swift moves by the chieftains were a result of the pledge of the president that he will not waste time in replacing the former cabinet members.
In Imo, the resignation of minister of state, education, Emeka Nwajiuba, has ignited the old rivalry between the two powerful factions of the party in the state.
The fight for Nwajiuba’s successor is being fought from three angles. The camp of the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, that of Senator Rochas Okorocha, and the minister’s camp.
Following the resignation of Pauline Tallen, who hails from Plateau state, as minister of women affairs, the names of three persons have been mentioned as a possible replacements.
They are; Architect Pam Dung, a former senior director at the federal ministry of works and housing, former state minister of information and communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, and Bashir Musan Sati, the former state secretary of the APC.
However, political observers say the possibility of any of the said politicians being appointed as the minister is dependent on the approval of Governor Simon Lalong, who may possibly get the nod of the president.
Sources within APC in Ondo state say Mr. Olusola Iji may be considered as a replacement for the ministerial seat.
Iji is currently heading the campaign for Governor Akeredolu’s wife, Betty who is going for Senate in Imo state.
The situation is said to be the same in Rivers and Bayelsa states.
APC chieftain says Buhari will favour disgruntled party chieftains
Speaking to Legit.ng on the issue, an APC chieftain, Hon. Bode Olowoporoku, said the president will likely appoint party members who are disgruntled.
According to him, the elections in various states have left many of the party chieftains aggrieved, adding that the president will use the opportunity to pacify.
“There are many angry people in the party at the moment. President Buhari is aware, that's why he said he will replace the ministers quickly. There is a need to have a united party as we move into the 2023 elections.
“You can see the efforts made in Zamfara and Gombe where some chieftains like Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari and Senators Kabiru Marafa and Danjuma Goje did not defect to the PDP again after their demands were met.
“The same thing will be replicated nationwide to appease many members, and the ministerial appointments will come in handy.”
2023: Ex-minister debunks news of him withdrawing from presidential race
Meanwhile, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio has reacted to "rumour making the rounds" that he has withdrawn from the 2023 presidential race.
Akpabio, a former governor of oil-rich Akwa Ibom state, also expressed confidence that he will clinch the APC's presidential ticket and go on to win the main election and succeed President Buhari.
2023: I’ll decentralise governance if elected president, says Fayemi
On his part, APC presidential aspirant and Ekiti state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has said he will decentralise governance if elected as Nigeria's next president.
Dr. Fayemi made the comment while announcing his presidential ambition on Wednesday, May 4 in Abuja.
He also expressed confidence in picking the APC presidential ticket either by direct or indirect primary election.