Governors battle ‘Aso Rock cabal’ over board appointments

Why I did not attend South-East summit -Buhari

The cold war that has existed between state governors and President Muhammadu Buhari’s kitchen cabinet over appointments, may soon boil over.

This is as state governors have vowed to resist a repeat of what transpired in the nomination of non career ambassadors with impending appointment into the board of federal government agencies.

President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, now famously referred to as the cabal, has been variously accused of hijacking appointments that have been made by the President by bringing their cronies and stooges.

The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, made reference to this in her controversial interview with the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, insisting that the President does not know most of the people he appointed into his government.

She also made reference to the cabal as having hijacked her husband’s administration to the consternation of those who made contributions to his election.

Indications that state governors were not happy with the appointments so far made by the President came to the fore after the release of the list of ambassadorial nominees, when they stormed the Presidential Villa, Abuja to register their displeasure with the list.

The governors, who complained that they were not consulted before the nominations, also said they do not know most of those who were in the list.

They also followed their audience with the president with a formal letter of complaint to which they expressed shock that the selection committee never consulted them.

A governor, who was at the meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, held with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, disclosed that the President has mandated the Vice President to consult with the governors and the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, over the planned appointments into the board of federal government agencies, a clear departure from what transpired in the past.

Read also: $30BN LOAN: Presidency desperate, woos Saraki, Dogara

According to the source, Osinbajo and those at the meeting had frank discussions on the issue, though the President’s kitchen cabinet is said to be demanding for a 40 per cent slot concession, allegedly on the instruction of the president.

However, the governors are insisting the president already promised not to interfere with the process and he only asked them to be fair.

According to the source, President Buhari has discarded the cabal and has decided that there would be wide consultations from now before appointments are made to avoid recent squabbles.

“Now, Buhari is set to reconcile with everybody, especially the aggrieved governors and leaders of the party, by running an all-inclusive administration and involving these leaders in strategic decision-making process.

“We were all disappointed that some members of the Kitchen Cabinet of the President hijacked appointments and abused the process in a manner that the President has become isolated from APC and its leaders”, the source said.

On the request by the President’s kitchen cabinet for 40 per cent of the slot, the source said they rejected it because the president only asked that they be transparent and fair and that they would wait till he returns from Morocco for him to make clarifications on the purported request.

By Timothy Enietan-Matthews….




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