CHECKMATE: Yar’Adua’s Kitchen Cabinet Throw In Towel, Nominate Aliero As VP
Abuja (THEWILL) – The wheels seem to have suddenly grinded to a halt for members of President Yar'Adua's kitchen cabinet as feelers reaching THEWILL indicate that the group has finally succumbed to the pressures to replace the ailing President.
President Umaru Yar'Adua has been in a Saudi Hospital for more than 41 days and the nation has been deliberately kept in the dark on his condition.
The intrigues surrounding his replacement has started to unfold as the power play in Abuja within the last 48 hours has shown the group that replacing the ailing president has become inevitable.
The governors of the 36 states are set to meet this week to steer the country away from the path of chaos. The National Assembly is also set to reconvene, with the review of sections 144 and 145 of the 1999 Constitution on their plate. The powerful Northern block made up of mainly retired military generals have given their blessings on the move to remove President Yar'Adua and replace him with the Vice President.
The Yar'Adua group led by Mrs. Turai Yar'Adua in order not to lose out completely have initiated moves to ensure that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Adamu Aliero becomes Vice President under a Goodluck Jonathan Presidency. The choice of Adamu Aliero we gather is informed by his loyalty to the ailing President and also seen as a move to douse the tension generated by the ambitions of some members of the Kitchen cabinet. Aliero was rumoured to be the candidate General Olusegun Obasanjo was supposed to have chosen as his successor until he got carried away with his third term ambition.
Adamu Aliero, a former governor of Kebbi State was nominated for the office he currently occupies by one of Turai's daughters. He is seen as a politician that will protect the family's interests while in office.
There are also reports that General Sarkin Muktar, the President's National Security adviser (NSA) is positioning himself to become the Vice President under a Goodluck Jonathan Presidency. There are reports that General Muktar is already in consultation with some power brokers to make him Vice President.
No one is certain how the drama will play out but some influential politicians have taken matters into their hands to ensure that the current vacuum created by the President's absence is not exploited by the military as an excuse for a coup de tat.
Others who have positioned themselves for the office of Vice President include:
A member of Yar'Adua's kitchen cabinet and presently the Minister for Agriculture. He is very close to the ailing President and his family, and is rumoured to have donated one of his kidneys to the President when he was governor of Katsina. Ruma was formerly the education minister under the Obasanjo's administration.
Is the present Governor of Jigawa State and was former Minister of Foreign Affairs under Obasanjo's presidency. He is said to enjoy the backing of the former president.
A senator from Adamawa State, and a former Vice Chancellor. He was Nigeria's ambassador to the United States during Obasanjo's first term.
He was also Minister for Petroleum and also Education under the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida.
Is also a member of the kitchen cabinet and Governor of Bauchi State. He is married to one of Yar'Adua's daughters.
Yuguda was a former Minister of Aviation in Obasanjo's administration.
Is a powerful retired General and former National Security Adviser to Olusegun Obasanjo.
Gusau was second place in the PDP primaries that produced Yar'Adua as party flag bearer in 2007. He is alleged to be a member of Nigeria's oil cartel.
Is also a member of the kitchen cabinet. The ambitious Governor of Kwara State and close ally of the President is the Chairman of the Governors' Forum. His ambition has put him at odds with the Yar'adua group.
His father, Dr. Olusola Saraki popularly known as 'Oloye' is said to have withdrawn his support for the ailing president.
MAHMUD YAYALE AHMED
Yayale is secretary to the federal government. He had previously served as Defence Minister and Head of Service under Olusegun Obasanjo.