By Ifeanyi Ottah
As the Senate commences the screening of the long awaited list of ministerial nominees submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari for screening, there are indications that most of the nominees may not live up to the expectation given the anti-corruption mantra of the present administration. This development however, has kept many Nigerians wondering why the president waited for so long in appointing his ministers since it was a rehash of the same old order.
However, in keeping to his promise, President Buhari maintained his September promise of naming his ministers. The list of ministerial nominees which he submitted to the Senate for consideration include ex- governors and those who had held one position or the other in PDP’S government and others who had distinguished themselves in their professions.
The nominees include: Abubakar Malami (SAN), Kebbi, Abdurahman Bello Dambazzau, Kano, Aisha Jumai Al Hassan, Taraba, Lai Mohammed, Kwara, Babatunde Raji Fashola, Lagos, Adebayo Shittu, Oyo, Solomon Dalong, Plateau, Senator Chris Ngige, Anambra, Rotimi Amaechi, Rivers and Audu Ogbeh, Benue.
Of particular interest among these nominees is Audu Ogbeh. In the Second Republic under President Shehu Shagari, late Dr. Olusola Saraki, as Senate leader, was part of the senators that screened Audu Ogbeh. 36 years later, the late Saraki’s son Bukola, is presiding over the Senate that will screen Ogbeh again for yet another ministerial slot.
The rest are Mrs.Amina Ibrahim, Dr.Osagie Ehaneri, Edo, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Delta, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Jigawa, Mrs.KemiAdeosun, Ogun, Dr.Ogbonnaya Onu, Abia, Ahmed Musa Bello Ibeto, Niger Ibrahim Usman Jubrin, Nasarawa, Senator Hadi Serika, Katsina and Senator Udo Udoma, Akwa Ibom.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who opened the sealed envelope at exactly 10:45am, told the lawmakers that the President sent the list to him through the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, adding that the list contained the first batch of nominees.
Buhari’s nomination letter.
President Buhari’s letter to Saraki reads: “In accordance with Section 147(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, I have the honour to forward the attached partial list of ministerial nominees for Senate confirmation. The list of the remaining nominees will follow shortly.
“It is my hope that this exercise will receive the usual kind expeditious consideration of the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic.”
The Senate commenced screening on the list yesterday with a confirmation that President Buhari would forward the subsequent names to the House shortly.
This came as senators, who were sharply divided over the list said they would do a thorough screening and called for the curriculum vitae of the nominees.
The President has equally made it categorically clear that he would not work with “sinners” or corrupt people in his cabinet.
Some of the ministers and who they are:
Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi
Chibuike Amaechi was the immediate past governor of Rivers State. Born on May 27, 1965, he is an astute politician, who has cut his political teeth through the two major political parties in the country. He won the governorship seat in Rivers State as a member of PDP before defecting to the APC.
As speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, relationship between him and erstwhile governor, Peter Odili, translated into a harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms of government.
However, Amaechi later launched campaign against the state government and verbally attacked the image of the state governor in an effort to succeed Odili as governor in 2007.He later became governor of Rivers State following the pronouncement of the Supreme Court.
Following his outstanding posture in support of APC’s campaign for the success of Muhammadu Buhari, Amaechi was appointed the Director General of the APC Presidential campaign in which Buhari was the Presidential candidate.
However, Amaechi could pass as one nominee whose image has been badly hurt by allegation of corruption by his political opponents.
The current governor of Rivers State, Chief NyesomWike has alleged that Amaechi and his administration had not only breached public trust on him but has unlawfully converted over N70 billion on of River State resources as well as the sale of the state’s power asset, allegations the former governor has denied.
Dr Kayode Fayemi.
A Doctorate Degree holder in War Studies, and Fayemi was the director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, a research and training institution dedicated to the study and promotion of democratic development, peace, building and human security in Africa, before he became governor.
When he was elected governor, Fayemi openly declared his assets and is said to be the first governor in Nigeria to sign into law the Freedom of Information Act on July 4, 2011.
Fayemi was the chairman of APC National Convention Committee which organised the primary elections which produced Buhari as presidential candidate of the party in the March 28 Presidential election.
While at the helm in affairs in Lagos, Fashola was adjudged to have brought improvement in infrastructure and ensured progress and development in the state.
A legal practitioner with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), he has made contributions to the legal profession.
However, shortly after he left office as governor, there were allegations that he fraudulently spent the sum ofN78million of tax-payers money for the upgrading of his personal website.
Kemi Adeosun was former commissioner for finance in Ogun State. She is said to be close to the state governor, Ibukunle Amosun, who is believed to have nominated her for the ministerial position.
An Economics graduate, Adeosun is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales as well as Nigeria.
A group known as the Organization of Financial Probity had alleged financial impropriety against the former commissioner..
Specifically, the group had accused Adeosun of dual citizenship, fraud, awarding of contracts to her husband, manipulation of government records and living above her income.
Adeosun denied all the allegations, saying there was no truth in all the issues raised.
Adebayo Shittu, is a legal practitioner and former Attorney-General in Oyo State. He came from the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) wing of the APC. He was noted to have stood by his party and refused to defect even when he contested and lost the gubernatorial primaries against governor Abiola Ajimobi.
Shittu hails from Saki which is said to be one of the politically-maligned areas of Oyo State. But the area regarded as the one place which determined the outcome of the 2015 elections in the state.
He had gathered a lot of experience in politics having been actively involved in political activities since 1979 and was also a gubernatorial aspirant in Oyo State.
Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu
Ogbonnaya Onu is a first, class chemical engineer from the university of Lagos, Born on December, 1951, in Ohaozara local government area of Ebonyi State, later proceeded to the University of Califonia, USA, where he obtained his Doctorate of Philososophy Degree in Chemical Engineering in1980.
On his return to Nigeria, he started lecturing as the pioneer head, department of chemical engineering at the University of Port Harcourt. He was later elevated to the position of acting dean, faculty of engineering in 1985 and later, elected by Senate into the governing Council of the University.
In 1989, Dr. Onu served as a director of the Nigeria Cement Company, Nigercem, Nkalagu; Visitor of Abia State University, Uturu. He was the pioneer national president of Raw Materials Society of Nigeria member, Pioneer Board of Governors of the federal government raw materials research and development council.
In 1991, he was elected the first governor of Old Abia State and later commenced work on the establishment of a Technology Village and the introduction of computers into public schools.
Onu was the national chairman of the ANPP before the party merged with three other parties to form the APC.
Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan
Born September 16, 1959 in Jalingo,Taraba State, Aisha Jummai Alhassan graduated as a lawyer from the Ahmadu Bello University in 1985. She worked as a Magistrate, Grade 11 in April 1988, in the kaduna State Judiciary and later went for the Technical Aid Corps Programme of the ministry of foreign affairs (on Secondment) to the Republic of Fiji, from 1990-1992, where she was admitted to the Fijian Bar and enrolled as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Fiji I 1991.
When she was in Fiji, her services were transferred from Kaduna State Judiciary to FCT judiciary in 1991 as magistrate grade 1. Upon return to the country, she assumed duty at FCT, where she was the only female magistrate in the FCT.
She rose through the ranks and became the first female chief magistrate in the FCT in 1996, where, she was moved to judicial administration as the first female deputy chief registrar and director of Litigation, High Court of the FCT Abuja in 1997.
She was appointed the first female attorney general of Taraba State in 1997. She later returned to the FCT Judiciary after the handing over to a democratically elected government in May, 1999 and continued in office as director litigation.
Aisha joined the PDP in 2005 and contested for the Taraba central senatorial district in 2011 under the platformof PDP and won. She was one of the senators who defected to the APC when the party came on board. Last year, she emerged the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Taraba State but lost to the PDP candidate, Dairus Dickson Isaku. She is presently contesting the outcome of the election before the Taraba State election petition tribunal.
Udoma Udo Udoma
A recipient of the Nigerian national Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), Udoma Udo Udoma is a senior partner of Udo Udoma & Bello- Osagie Udoma and. He was a two-term member of the Nigerian senate from 1999- 2007 where he served variously as chief whip, chairman of the committee on national planning, revenue mobilisation and poverty alleviation and chairman of the appropriations committee.
He has been Chairman of UAC of Nigeria Plc since January 2, 2010. He served as the first chairman of the Corporate Affairs Commission between 1991-1992 and is the part-time Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has served the nation in other roles such as Special Adviser to the minister of petroleum and mineral resources from 1993 to March 1994.Udoma has been chairman of Union Bank of Nigeria since February 2013 and its director since November 27, 2012. He served as vice chairman of Linkage Assurance Plc and served as its director. He has been a director of Unilever Nigeria Plc since January1, 2008 and UAC of Nigeria since 1995. He serves as director of First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited. He served as director of First Hydrocarbon Nigeria Limited.
He holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Jurisprudence in 1976, a Bachelors of Civil Laws Degree and a Masters of Arts in 1977 from St Catherine’s College, Oxford University.
Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige
Born on August 8, 1952, Ngige was governor of Anambra State between 29 May, 2003 and 17 March, 2006 under the platform of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). He was elected senator for Anambra Central Constittuency in April, 2011.
A medical doctor by profession, Ngige graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in1979. He immediately went into civil service, serving at the National Assembly and State House clinics at different times. He retired in 1998 as a deputy director in the Federal Ministry of Health.
On February 6, 2010, Ngige contested for the governorship of Anambra State but lost. In April 2011, Ngige contested for the senatorial seat of Anambra Central on the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, platform and won.
Ngige’s tenure as a senator came to an end following his defeat in the 2015 election by UcheEkwunife who replaced him as senator representing Anambra Central senatorial district in the senate.
General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd)
Born on March 14, 1954 Dambazau is a retired Nigerian Army Lieutenant-General who served as Chief of Army Staff, between 2008 and 2010.
He was in the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna as a member of the 17 Regular Combatant Course. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Infantry Corps of the Nigerian Army in June 1977, Dambazzau served as a military police officer, aide de camp to the Chief of Army Staff , commanded military police units and served as a special investigator (1984-1985). He was Registrar of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
Kachikwu, a man of multiple parts, came to as group managing director, GMD of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) blazing like meleor.He graduated with honours from the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and received seven of the available nine prizes in 1999. He holds the LLM Havard Distinction and was best graduated in 1980 with specialization in energy, petroleum and investment law strategy, after completing his doctoral thesis in a record time.
With a H.Dip.T.L. from Georgetown, the United States of America, the new NNPC chief executive is a fellow, Society for Corporate Governance (FSCG), Chartered Institute of Arbitration (FCIArb), Chartered Institute for Petroleum Policy, FCIPP and a visiting professor in various universities in the world including Harvard his alma matter.
His appointment in July as newhelms man at the NNPC has brought a lot of changes including resuscitation of the Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries that are working at appreciable capacity.
Sikira is a trained pilot of several years experience. He was a member of the House of Reps from 2003-2007. While in the Green Chamber, he served as one of its most outspoken and brilliant, members
His legislative specialty was aviation and related matters and he sponsored a number of legislations in that sector.
Sikira won senatorial election in 2011 to represent Katsina North senatorial district under the platform of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC. While in the senate from 2011-2015, he was vice-chairman of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) committee.
As a member of the senate committee on Aviation, Sikira contributed immensely to the development of the aviation sector.
A strong supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, Sirika fought hard along the ex-general to oust ex-president Goodluck Jonathan from power.
As a leader of the CPC, Sirika was the first to disclose last year that leaders of the party with its members from the legacy parties would endorse Buhari as presidential candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Malami, is a lawyer with the enviable rank. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), he was born in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.
Called to the Nigerian Bar in 1992 Abubakar Malami has served in various capacities as state counsel, magistrate and lecturer, before going into private legal practice.
He also served as the national legal adviser for the CPC and is believed to be one of the closest advisers of Buhari.
He has been one of the consistent members of the opposition right from 2003 till the victory of the APC in the March 28 Presidential election
Amina was Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.
She has been working in the field of development for more than 30 years, both in the public sector and private sectors.
She had also served as senior adviser to the President of Nigeria on Millennium Development Goals for six years where she was in charge of designing and developing government projects to reduce poverty around the country.
Lai Mohammed, a lawyer , business man and politician, is the national publicity secretary of the APC. He was born in 1952 and has a Bachelor’s Degree in French from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1975 and Law degrees from the University of Lagos and the Nigerian Law School in 1986. He co-founded the legal firm of Edu & Mohammed as a Senior Partner in 1989. He worked as public relations officer for almost 10 years with the Nigerian Airport Authority, now Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria,FAAN.
In October 2002, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was a candidate for governorship in the April 2003 Kwara State elections on the Alliance for Democracy, AD platform against the incumbent Senate President, Bukola Saraki who was then, the governor of the state.
Mohammed as the spokesperson of the opposition ACN and now the ruling APC, remained the tormentor-in-chief against the PDP and his mastery use of propaganda earned him pejorative the title of Lai, the Liar by the PDP.
Ogbeh was born on July 28, 1947, in Otukpa in Benue State, of Idoma background. He attended Kings College, Lagos (1967 1968), then studied at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1969 1972) and the University of Toulose, France (1973 1974). He lectured at the Institute of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1972 1976) and headed the Department of Humanities, Murtala Muhammed College of Arts, Science and Technology (1977 1979).
In 2001, he was appointed national chairman of the PDP, replacing Chief Barnabas Gemade. He held this position until January, 2005 when he was forced to resign. He later joined APC and became one of its leaders.
Barrister Solomon Selcap Dalung was born on the 26th of September, 1964 in the town of Sabon Gida in Langtang South local government area of Plateau State. He had his primary school education at local education authority primary school, Sabon Gida town in Langtang South local government area, from 1971 to 1977. He then proceeded to Government College, Keffi, currently in Nassarawa State, for his secondary school education.
Dalung chose to join the Nigerian Prisons Service in the early eighties. In 1991 while still in the Prisons Service, he enrolled to study Law, University of Jos. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, in Abuja, graduated in 2000 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2001.
He was appointed personal assistant to Chief Solomon Lar, when Lar was appointed Adviser Emeritus to President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as the chairman of Langtang South Local government area. As chairman of Langtang South, he also served as the Plateau State chairman of the Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria, (ALGON) up till May, 2008. He made an attempt at representing Langtang North and South at the National Assembly but lost.
Dr Osagie E. Ehanire
Dr. Osagie E. Ehanire is an outstanding surgeon and holds an (MD) of College of Medicine, Ludwig Maximillians University, Munich. He also holds postgraduate diplomas from the Teaching Hospital of the University of Düsseldorf and Essen, Germany in the areas of Anaesthesiology, General Surgery, and Orthopaedic Trauma Surgery. Osagie has served on various medical boards both within and outside Nigeria.
He was Edo State Coordinator of General Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation.
However, President Buhari, last week, reached out to senators elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and pleaded for soft-landing for the nominees, whose nomination elicited mixed reactions in the polity.