Nigeria News: Stranded in Buhari’s Government
Nigeria News examine the strength of some members of Buhari’s cabinet and the worry of those who are stranded in this administration.
Before he finally wrote a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu had been unnecessary silent.
When it became obvious that he has been sidelined by the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, the minister broke his silence.
He wanted a private intervention of Buhari in the alleged insubordination of Baru but his petition was leaked to the media.
The contents of the petition looked more like supplication as the minister lamented how he had been stranded under Buhari’s administration.
Buhari appointed Kachikwu as GDM NNPC in 2015 and replaced him with Baru in 2016. However, the minister alleged that Baru has been running the country’s oil and gas sector without proper procedure.
In his petition, Kachikwu alleged that Baru made some appointments without recourse to the NNPC board and that the GMD awarded some contracts without approval by the board.
Ordinarily, these are issues the minister should have discussed with the president but he has not been able to see Buhari to table his grievances. He’s been fenced out.
There are some ministers and special advisers in the present regime that are passing through what Kachikwu has been experiencing in the last one year, an investigation has shown.
It is either they voice out and lose their positions or keep quiet and remain as stranded members of the Federal Executive Council.
A source said, “You must be very strong to be relevant in Buhari’s government. There are some who are not members of FEC but stronger than ministers. They fence out the ministers and because President Buhari cannot see everything, these cabals ensure that things are done in their own ways.”
Among strong ministers are Babatunde Fashola of Power, Works and Housing, Kayode Fayemi of Mining and Solid Minerals, findings reveal that the president listens to them regularly.
“These guys and one or two other ministers actually formulate the policies on which this government runs,” the source said.
The investigation revealed that these powerful ministers, because of their looseness to Buhari, actually made it difficult for the cabals to sideline Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
There were reports that the Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari allegedly created a distance between Osinbajo and Buhari but the strong ministers closed the gap and ensured that the president and his vice had a cordial relationship.
Another powerful minister is Abubakar Malami of Justice. The investigation revealed that the Attorney General would be ready to muscle whosoever that would stand against his ideal.
However, there are silent ministers like Ogbonnaya Onu of the Science and Technology. He does his things quietly and would not want to step on toes of the “Cabals”.
Also the Minister of Communication, Abdul-Raheem Adebayo Shittu. He works as directed and advised by strong ministers.
While these cabinet members have been playing safe, one of them, the Minister of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Hajia Aisha Alhassan recently said that she would not be supporting Muhammadu Buhari if the president would be contesting in 2019 for the second term.
She does not care whose ox is gored as she posits to support former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s 2019 presidential bid. Is she stranded in Buhari’s cabinet, it seems.