About five weeks to the inauguration of the General Muhammadu Buhari government, the shape of the new cabinet is beginning to emerge. Daily Sun gathered that the next Federal Executive Council may be composed of Nigerians who are not only driven by the desire to restore the dream of the founding fathers but also share the modest lifestyle of the incoming president.
Resolved to work with the best, it was learnt that the president-elect is considering the likes of former ministers of petroluem and finance, Prof Tam David-West and Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu. Others are former president of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; former minister of sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, presidential aspirant of APC, Mr. Sam Ndah-Isaiah and Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.
It was gathered that while the President-elect is not going to stand against the APC that won him the Presidency, he has resolved to pick technocrats and those he trusts to run his most important ministries.
Towards this end, a source close to the president-elect and who had been privy to meetings being held, revealed: “It’s the President-elect’s personal wish to return former Nigeria’s oil Minister, David West to the Petroleum Ministry.”
According to him, David West is incorruptible, frugal, and loyal even in trying times.
The source also revealed that while a lot of qualified technocrats are being bandied about and their names forwarded by party chiefs and lobbyists for the minister of finance, the inner circle of the President-elect is leaning toward the expertise of Dr. Idika Kalu, a World Bank specialist consultant, who, for many years, worked with the bank’s various development programmes catapulting the Korean economy from the third world into its present competitive global market.
Moreover, explained the source, it was Idika Kalu who, in 2005, openly opposed the Paris debt relief as canvassed by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. In an essay in the Washington based AMERICA Mi DREAM Magazine, the financial guru argued:
“What Nigerian authorities have in fact, opted to do is a rather expensive debt refinancing. More bluntly, our first option in dealing with our enhanced revenue cannot be for a ‘debt exit treatment,’ but rather, for the further growth and development of the Nigerian economy. This is the sustainable way of helping Nigeria’s fight against poverty, which the Paris club clearly subscribes to.”
In recognising the leaning of the caucus to Idika kalu, the source believes that the President-elect, as in the case of David West, wants Idika Kalu in the ministry of finance. However, position of the coordinating minister of the economy will be scrapped, while there will be an economic advisory committee.
For the ministry of sports, Abdulahi, Nigeria’s former Minister of Sports, may return. He had resigned as minister in Goodluck Jonathan’ government, owing to his leaning towards the new PDP, the faction of the PDP, which his mentor, Senator Bukola Saraki and five governors had formed.
Fashola and Akeredolu, it was learnt, are being considered as ministers of the Federal Capital Territory and Justice, respectively.
On security, it was gathered that Buhari is considering one General Garba as Defence Minister, National Security Adviser (NSA) or Chief of Staff.
General Cyril Iweze, a then young Igbo officer who served directly under Buhari in the First Division before the Nigeria Civil War, may lead the operation against Boko Haram.
General Iweze was the Nigerian Commander of ECOMOG in Liberia. He’s reputed to have given the Maitatsene sect hell in the defunct Gongola State.
The source revealed that General Buhari may constitute a Special Force made of serving officers and retired officers, who would be given a mandate to finish up the Boko Haram insurgency.
Nda Isaiah, publisher of Leadership Newspaper, who is noted for his ‘Big Ideas’ when he contested for APC presidential ticket, it was gathered my be minister of education.
Meanwhile, it was equally learnt that appointments in the Buhari government would be subjected to public asset declaration. Sources revealed that the president-elect would not have those whose assets run into billions in his government, as he wants to wage serious war against corruption.