The mood at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday was that of disappointment, frustration and anger, following the news that President Muhammadu Buhari had sent the names of certain persons to be appointed ministers to the Department of State Services (DSS) and were already being screened.
The supposed nominations had generated heated discussions among top party chieftains and staff at the national secretariat yesterday, even as some National Working Committee (NWC) members were locked in a meeting with governorship aspirants from Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that out of seven NWC members who had shown interest in becoming ministers, four names were sent to President Buhari for his consideration. A source at the secretariat who craved anonymity said Buhari had appointed the current Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. B.D. Lawal out of the four names submitted by the party leaders.
“It was not clear, however, whether the president would honour the remaining names,” the source said. Reports in some quarters had it that the Presidency had forwarded about 20 names to the DSS for screening.
In the list of those who were said to have been screened by the DSS are former presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, Femi Falana (SAN), a former Governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, a former finance commissioner in Lagos State, Wale Edun and Former Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Limited, Festus Odimegwu. Others said to be on the list are Abubakar Malami (SAN), former Chief of Army, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazu (retd.); and former chief executive of the Federal Inland Revenue, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui- Okaru.
Another source at the APC Secretariat, however, revealed that President Buhari was considering some of the party leaders for appointment as ambassadors to Nigeria’s embassies and missions abroad. Prominent among those that may get the ambassadorial appointment are the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, a national leader and former governor of old Abia State, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu.