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Obasanjo, Tinubu in secret battle over ministerial nominees

By The Rainbow
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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and erstwhile Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, are locked in a war of attrition over the formation of President Muhammadu Buhari's cabinet. Already, former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance and a nominee of Tinubu into the cabinet, Mr. Wale Edun, has become the first casualty of the ego war.

Sources told New Telegraph that Edun, who Tinubu had recommended to Buhari to be Minister of Finance, has been dropped despite being screened by the Department of State Services (DSS). He is to be replaced by former Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Yemi Cardoso, as a Lagos representative in the cabinet.

Cardoso is the chairman, Citibank Nigeria Limited. In preparation for the coveted seat, Edun had led the All Progressives Congress (APC) delegation to Washington to attend the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in April.

Edun's problem started when a group of influential Lagos indigenes, including traditional rulers and some of his colleagues that served in the Tinubu administration, kicked against his choice as a Lagos State ministerial nominee. The opposition informed the decision of Tinubu to ensure Edun becomes Ogun State nominee. But Obasanjo and the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, also kicked.

A source informed New Telegraph that Obasanjo called Tinubu and advised him to desist from pushing Edun as Ogun State nominee. He was said to have warned that Ogun people would not allow Tinubu to fill the slot of the state with somebody whose work and career were rooted in Lagos State.

The former president reportedly cited the example of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, from Ogun State, whom Tinubu nominated as vicepresident, adding that he considered Osinbajo to be more of a Lagosian than an indigene of Ogun State.

It was learnt that Obasanjo and Amosun have agreed to give the state's slot in the cabinet to a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha. Sources said the two recent visits of Obasanjo to Buhari in Abuja was first to submit his ministerial list and for further consultations.

A source in the presidency told New Telegraph that Obasanjo's nominees include: former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun); former Governor of Ekiti State and now the Deputy National Chairman (South) of the APC, Chief Segun Oni (Ekiti); Mustapha (Ogun); former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili and erstwhile Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.

The source added that the submission of the ministerial list by Obasanjo to the president informed the September 9 visit of Tinubu and former Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, to Buhari, 24 hours after the former president visited.

“Tinubu and Akande's visit to President Buhari on September 9 was an impromptu meeting. An influential official in the presidency told them of Obasanjo's surreptitious moves to corner the ministerial nominees from the South-West.

New Telegraph
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