President Buhari opts to hand-pick new cabinet members, snubs lobbyists

By Nimi Princewill

Ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term inauguration on May 29, newcomers are reportedly expected to occupy the Federal Executive Council (FEC), as the president is presumably on the verge of selecting his new ministers himself.

Contrary to popular practice, the president has reportedly not approached governors nor members of his party’s inner power circle for names, but has kept the selection of his choices for new ministers to himself.

According to varied sources, some influential members of the inner power circle, also known as ‘Cabal’ made attempts to meet with the president in London but were rebuffed in strict compliance with the president’s directive.

INSIDER learnt that the president’s adoption of a tough approach in personally choosing his second term cabinet members is necessitated by the loopholes in his government and his desire for the acquisition of technocrats to fill the gap. Sources close to the Presidency, predicts the president’s body language as keen on strictly placing merit and competence over party considerations in the appointment of ministers.

Sharing his thoughts on the scramble for ministerial positions, Mr Kayode Ajulo, a legal practitioner suggests that the President would have the finest technocrats in his cabinet.


He said: “I am optimistic that Buhari’s next cabinet would be made of the best quality of people. It is my expectation that the finest of politicians and top grade technocrats would make the list.

“I say this against the hindsight of the fact that the past four years have given President Buhari the opportunity to know those that worked with him and what should work for him.

“I’m sure, now he knows those who sincerely worked for him, who must be compensated. He also knows those who truly represent their people and who must be brought on board to represent their people in his government. I’m also sure he knows the loopholes in his government and the areas where he needs technocrats to fill the gap.

“I, therefore, expect remarkable change, as I am rest assured, with his recent utterances, of giving Nigeria the best in his second term.”

A top source in the Presidency opined that President Buhari has realised some “deadwoods in his cabinet which he ought to offload” hence, he kept his close associates in the dark concerning his London itinerary until the last minute, before subsequently denying them access to him in London.

“Those who went to London came back empty handed. Only an outgoing minister was allowed access to the President. And the minister was still in London as at 7pm today (yesterday), the source confirmed.

With the popular narrative that most of the current ministers performed below expectation, INSIDER gathered that the reported sudden change in attitude of the president is geared towards living up to his promise to leave sustainable legacies in his second term by looking for the right people to serve in his cabinet.