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Exclusive- Ministerial List: Gbaja, Akume Risk Tinubu’s Wrath

Exclusive- Ministerial List: Gbaja, Akume Risk Tinubu's Wrath

The controversies trailing the removal and replacement and also the failure by the Senate to confirm the nomination of three ministerial nominees sent to it by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu have been traced to two of the President’s trusted aides, Nouscentral can confirm.

Credible sources in the Villa last night disclosed that the President for the first time since assuming office wore a tough guy mien when he angrily summoned his Chief of Staff and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) George Akume, hours after a closed door meeting with the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio.

The senate had, on Monday, withheld the confirmation of Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Stella Okotete, and Senator Abubakar Danladi over security screening. But confirmed the appointment of 45 other ministerial nominees sent to it by President Bola Tinubu for screening.

El-Rufai is the immediate past governor of Kaduna State; Okotete, from Delta State, is Executive Director, Business Development, Nigerian Export-Import Bank; while Danladi was deputy governor and later governor of Taraba State.

The red chamber screened all the nominees, whose names were sent in three batches, in six legislative days.

Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, said the three nominees, who were not confirmed, had to undergo security screening from relevant security agencies before their appointments would be confirmed.

This came just few days after the nomination of Dr. Maryam Shettima, a nominee from Kano State, believed to be a closed ally of Akume, was withdrawn and was later replaced by Mariya Mahmoud, on the order of the President after several online protests from the state and a shocking revelation by the APC National Chairman and immediate past Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, that he had no idea how Maryam’s name was smuggled into Kano State list.

The development has led to criticism in some section of the public who said the President can’t feign ignorance of the several allegations against some of nominees.

Angry Tinubu was said to have considered many options including replacing some security heads and some of his aides who failed to act on the reports.

His reasons were not unconnected to how these persons could beat security screening after several public petitions and evidences tabled against them.

The screening of El-Rufai (Kaduna ) Danladi (Taraba) and Okotete (Delta) was put on hold for reasons of religion extremism, age forgery and age falsification, among others.

Senator Abubakar Sani Danladi, who was former acting governor and deputy governor of Taraba State, was said to have been banned from public office for ten years. While Okotete was accused of age and certificate forgery, El-Rufai’s was still not clear but sources said it was connected to religion.

Source said two of the ministerial nominees were said to have scored below par and come short of the President’s anti-corruption benchmark.

The ministerial screening and cleansing, the source said is “a prelude to more actions to be taken by the president to shore up his chances to win the peoples’ confidence and sustain his growing goodwill among Nigerians”.

There were strong indications that the President will not tolerate none performing ministers as about 30% of them are on his probational list to be replaced within their first two years, including some of his aides.

“President Tinubu rallies to tighten his grip on power and the political structure of the ruling party and he will not tolerate mediocrity”.

“The President last night after a brief meeting with the Senate President Godswill Akpabio who left the Senate building during the ministerial screening to have a word with the President, expressed disappoinment with his Chief of Staff and the SGF”, the source said.

The President, he said, was informed about their involvement in enlisting some of the nominees who hitherto had weighty allegations against them and who could not have passed security screening.

“They are the President’s eyes and ears and they hold him the duty to report such developments before these names were passed to the Senate. He felt embarrassed and couldn’t hold his anger last night”, the source said.

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