Former Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike and eminent medical scholar Ali Pate are on the list of ministerial nominees forwarded to the Senate by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, it was learned this morning.
Also nominated for cabinet positions are legal luminary Lateef Fagbemi (SAN); an economist Olawale Edun, banker Adebayo Adelabu, former Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, All Progressives Congress (APC) Women Leader Mrs. Betta Edu, Senator Ben Ayade and eminent journalist Dele Alake, who is currently the Special Adviser on Media, Strategy and Special Duties.
A Senate source said the President forwarded the list to Senate President Godswill Akpabio this morning, in line with the constitutional provision that the list should get to the National Assembly within 60 days after the presidential inauguration.
The deadline expires this weekend.
The list is a blend of politicians and technocrats, the source added.
However, the source could not confirm whether the list had portfolios. He could not also confirm the number of nominees.
However, the source said the list reflected the president’s and the ruling party’s national character and outlook.
President Tinubu had hinted about setting up a government of inclusion and competence after assuming the reins.
He said experienced ministers will drive his ‘Renewed Hope’ agenda in the national interest.
Despite keeping the list to his chest, it was gathered that it was drawn following wider consultations with members of the ruling APC National Caucus, the Progressive Governors’ Forum, other top party leaders, and relevant stakeholders.
Indeed, prominent party leaders close to the President emphasized the need to nominate patriotic, committed and experienced persons without baggage.
Pate, a Harvard professor of medicine, is a former Minister of State (Health) in the defunct Jonathan Administration. A source said he is likely to hold the Health portfolio.
Wike, lawyer, former Minister of State for Education, and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, was the leader of the aggrieved G-5, which opposed the presidential ambition of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
El-Rufai, a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), headed the APC Panel on Restructuring. According to the source, he may be assigned to the Power Ministry.
Fagbemi, who hails from Ijagbo, Kwara State, is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Edun, one-time Lagos Finance Commissioner, is currently Special Adviser to the President on Monetary Policy.
Oyetola, a financial expert, was governor of Osun State between 2018 and 2022.
The APC Women Leader, Dr. Edu, is a former Health Commissioner in Cross Rivers State.
Ayade, a professor of microbiology, had served as Senator before he became governor.
The nominee from Oyo State, Adelabu, retired as Central Bank Deputy Governor. In the last general election, he contested for governor on the platform of the Accord Party.
During his 60th birthday in Abuja two days ago, Senate Majority Leader Opeyemi Bamidele hinted that the President would forward the list to the Senate in the next 48 hours.
He told dignitaries at the occasion that President Tinubu, who was expected as the father of the day, could not attend the ceremony because he was busy drawing up the list.
Bamidele, who represents Ekiti Central District in the Senate, also said President Tinubu had not attended any public event since Monday because he was putting the finishing touches to the list.
The Senate Leader urged Nigerians to pray for the President over the task.
Also, last week, the Senate postponed its recess to enable senators to receive the list and screen the nominees.
According to the source, the screening of nominees is likely to be held next week.