Several official reasons have been put forward for the delay in President Buhahari sending a list of ministers for senate approval.
His spokesman Garba Shehu claimed the delay was because the president had to “scrutinise” candidates to ensure they didn’t have a corrupt past. The All Progressive Congress (APC) national publicity secretary Lai Mohammed has put the delay down difficulties with the first ever transition from ruling party to opposition party, and the fact that the previous administration was not quick to pass on handover notes.
But a source has revealed that the real reason for the delay is the battle for supremacy in the party that has pitted the party leader and former Lagos State governor Bobo Chicago Bola Tinubu against the likes of former president Olusegun Obasanjo and former vice president Atiku Abubakar. This battle has resulted in Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara emerging as senate president and house of representatives speaker, against Tinubu’s wishes.
The president is said to have sided with the forces against Tinubu. The source claims that those forces are seeking to first “neutralize” and “cage” Tinubu, also known as the “Lion of Bourdillion, to ensure that the president’s choice of ministers can be approved by the senate.
Tinubu, according to the source, tried to have his loyalists in key positions at the National Assembly, but has failed. He was also expecting to be able to nominate 10 ministers, but the source claims that the most Tinubu will get are two ministers.
The source suggested that Tinubu thought he could deploy the same “formula” he used in Lagos nationally – in which he used his control of the “machinery” of the state parliament, with threats of impeachment, to ensure that then governor Babatunde Fashola danced to his tune.