A report by New Telegraph claims that some of the nominees in President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list have gone spiritual in their bid to successfully scale through the senate screening billed for Wednesday, October 7.
According to the report, some nominees have embarked on intensive prayer sessions ahead of the screening because they are aware of the resistance they are likely to face at the upper chamber.
Among those expected to face resistance from senators from their states are former Ekiti and Rivers state governors, Dr Kayode Fayemi and Rotimi Amaechi respectively.
Both states are under the control of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party just as the senators are of the same party, and the governors of both states (Ayo Fayose and Nyesome Wike) are reportedly hell-bent on using the senators from the states to frustrate the ambition of their predecessors.
The report further stated that Fayose prefers the nomination of Chief Femi Falana (SAN) as against Fayemi, while Wike is said to be banking on the outcome of the recent probe of Amaechi’s administration to nail him at the senate.
Reacting to the allegations, the chief press secretary to Governor Fayose, Mr Idowu Adelusi, told Naij.com via telephone Sunday afternoon (October 4) that the allegation is a PDP propanganda.
He said: ‘‘Governor Fayose has nothing to do with Fayemi’s screening in the senate, the issues are purely the internal affairs of the PDP and the governor has nothing to do with it.”
Meanwhile, there are speculations that the president is yet to pick nominees from the Akwa Ibom, Ondo and Bayelsa states.
”I think the President appears confused because of the various complexities in those states. Politics is a game that requires consultations but I think something is wrong in the case of the three states because of the intrigues,” a source said.
According to the source, the president has yet to make up his mind on whom to nominate between the Akwa Ibom state governorship candidate in the last election, Chief Umana Umana and the 2011 candidate, Chief James Akpanudoedehe.
In Bayelsa, the battle is between Senator Heineken Lokpobiri and Chief Ndutimi Alaibe. Recall that Alaibe recently withdrew from the All Progressives Congress governorship primary in the state, after allegedly being pressured by the presidency to back down for former governor, Timipre Sylva.
In Ondo, there are three main contenders, they are the governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in 2013, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Femi Agagu, younger brother to a late former governor of the state; and a former speaker of the state house of assembly, Hon. Victor Olabimtan.
In a related development, some of the nominees have started contacting the senate president, Bukola Saraki and other senators because they are wary of the hard stand senators could take against them during the screening.
Recall that Buhari sent the list containing the names of the ministerial nominees to the Senate on Wednesday, September 30, for screening.
Buhari was said to have used five factors to determine the appointment of his ministers, they are, strict adherence to principle of non-interference in choosing his cabinet, integrity or pedigree; selfless service; old acquaintances and less exposure to political influence.