Ministerial list: Ex-governors, lawmakers will get easy Senate screening, says Ogunlewe – Punch Newspapers


A former Minister of Works and Housing, Adeseye Ogunlewe has said that the screening of President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees, which begins at the Senate on Monday, will be a walk in the park for former governors and ex-legislators.

Ogunlewe stated this when he was featured on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Sunday night.

The development is coming three days after the Senate unveiled the list of Tinubu’s 28 ministerial nominees.

Prominent people who made the list included former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike (Rivers), former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), and former Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi (Ebonyi).

Others were acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Abubakar Kyari (Borno); the ruling party’s women leader Beta Edu (Cross River); Deputy Chief Whip of the Ninth House of Representatives, Nkiruka Onyejiocha ( Abia); a lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, (Kwara); and the President’s Special Adviser on Media, Strategy and Special Duties, Dele Alake, (Ekiti).

The list also included a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Adebayo Adelabu (Oyo); former Minister of State, Health, Ali Pate, (Bauchi); and Senator John Eno, (Cross River).

The rest were Abubakar Momoh (Edo); Ambassador Yusuf Maitama, (Bauchi), Ahmad Dangiwa (Katsina), Hanatu Musawa, (Katsina), Chief Uche Nnaji, (Enugu), Doris Aniche (Imo), Mohamed Badaru (Jigawa), Ekperikpe Ekpo (Akwa Ibom), Olubumi Tunde-Ojo, (Ondo), Stella Okotete, (Delta), Uju Ohanaeye (Anambra) and Bello Goronyo, (Sokoto).

Mohammed Idris (Niger), Olawale Edun (Ogun), Imman Suleiman (Nassarawa), Joseph Utsev, (Benue) and Sani Danladi (Taraba) also completed the 28-man list.

But speaking on Sunday, Ogunlewe said he did not foresee any hitch in the screening of the nominees.

He said, “Let us classify these candidates into groups. Some groups were National Assembly members before, senators, and House of reps members. In my mind, these ones will get accelerated clearance because it is their tradition. They won’t take time on them.

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“Then we have four governors. Two of them were senators. They will also get accelerated clearance. It is now left for those who are totally new and have no linkage with the existing system. They are the ones that will be thoroughly grilled, so to speak.”

Ogunlewe, however, expressed optimism that it will not be the kind of grilling meted out to former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola before he became a minister in the cabinet of former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

“I don’t think there will be any need for that (serious grilling). These are party representatives. They have been cleared by the ruling party and security agents. The National Assembly has very little to do and the state of the country may not warrant lengthen talk. We need these people to come and be ministers to move the country forward.

“All these people cleared by security agents have also been cleared by the party and I know the president must have also done his own work very well. It is going to be very smooth sailing for everybody. That is my prediction.

“The manifesto of the party will be critical. We don’t want ministers to dictate the policy of the party, which is already included in the manifesto. The only question that can be asked is whether they are familiar with the manifesto of the party. I will advise them (nominees) to read through the party manifesto. The senators can now ask them questions,” he stated.

Ogunlewe also dismissed the possibility of the senators having a challenge over which ministers should be assigned certain portfolios.

According to him, the leadership of the Senate, the screening panel, and even the Speaker must have been briefed long before the session to make their jobs easier.

He said, “I know how the party system works. The Senate president, deputy Senate president, the Majority Leader, and probably the Speaker, will probably have known the portfolios to be assigned to these people. It is not going to be a secret thing.

“It is not the only person who will know why certain persons are picked. There must have been an idea before they were nominated. It is a party thing. They should not allow the opposition to take it over from them.” ,

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