Politics

EXCLUSIVE: Tinubu Will Not Swearing-in El-Rufai, Other Ministers

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EXCLUSIVE: Tinubu Will Not Swearing-in El-Rufai, Other Ministers

Indications emerged on Saturday that President Bola Tinubu’s ministerial nominees may assume duty in the third week of August, which is between August 14 and 18.

Impeccable presidency sources told PUNCH that the delay in swearing in the ministers was to allow the new nominees screened and cleared by the Senate to prepare for the task ahead and relocate from their various states to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, from where they will function.

“It won’t be earlier than upper week (August 14 – 18) because I know it’s not on the President’s schedule for the new week,” the source said.

Another source said, “He (Tinubu) wants to give them the rest of the new week to plan and organise themselves because they will be traveling from different locations.”

Since the Federal Executive Council meetings hold on Wednesdays, ministers may meet for the first time on August 16.

Last Wednesday, the President sent a supplementary list of ministerial nominees to the Senate to be screened for various roles in his cabinet.

Prominent on the list were former Governors Nyesom Wike, Dave Umahi, Mohammed Badaru, Bello Matawalle, Nasir El-Rufai, Simon Lalong, Gboyega Oyetola, Atiku Bagudu and Ibrahim Geidam of Rivers, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau, Osun, Kebbi, and Yobe states.

The President on Friday withdrew his nomination of Dr Maryam Shetty from Kano State, replacing her with Dr Mariya Mahmoud, also from Kano.

He also nominated the former Minister of State for Labour and Unemployment under President Muhammadu Buhari, Festus Keyamo (SAN), making a long list of 48 nominees.

However, it was observed that none of Tinubu’s favourites have a military background, leaving doubts about who would be his Minister of Defence.

Speaking on the issue, a presidency source who did not want to be mentioned, argued that the new defence helmsman must not have worn boots to excel in office.

The source noted, “It is expected that those in the military will understand the nuances and be able to command the respect and loyalty of the various armed forces. I understand the psychology.

“But it doesn’t matter. Often, the best administrators almost don’t even have direct professional training towards the agency or ministry they head.

“More so, there is no law that says whoever mans the ministry of defence must be a military person.”

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