BY OUR REPORTERS
The game is the game and you can say that for Nigerian politics. For as much as politicians promises changes so do things seem to remain the same in the coutry.
The above sums up the straw opinion on the streets of Nigeria as President Bola Ahmed Tinubu finally unveiled his cabinet by submitting a list of 28 ministerial nominees to the Senate on Thursday, 27, 2023.
Given the claims of preparedness to govern which the President’s camp have always pushed for him, not a few Nigerians were baffled that President Tinubu has taken the ministerial list to the wire, submitting it only hours to the constitutional deadline of 60 days after a President takes the oath of office, which Tinubu took on 29 May, 2023.
And not a few Nigerians are now asking ‘Where is the surprise which led to this delay and last-minute dramatic breasting of the tape?’
More poignantly, those who spoke with The Dream Daily Newspaper shortly after former Speaker, House of Representatives and Chief of Staff to President Tinubu, Femi Gbajiabiamila delivered the list to the Senate at 1.19pm were not exactly convinced that the President has built a cabinet of technocrats as his Lagos antecedent had it, and as expected and touted by his supporters.
In the majority, those who spoke with The Dream Daily newspaper expressed mixed feelings bordering on disappointment as they observed that the ministerial list is dominated by “politicians, the usual and touted suspects in fact.”
“This falls flat for me”, stated a university teacher who pleaded anonymity. “The list of ministers just submitted to the Senate falls short of my expectation. That list is dominated by career politicians whose pedigree we already know and I don’t think things are about to change as Tinubu promised because we already know the antecedents of these carpetbaggers whose names are strewn all over this list.
“Maybe Tinubu has lost the magic wand because what I see here is politics thrashing his known technocratic approach to governance as Lagos State Governor. What is new that a Wike or an El-Rufai going to offer? This falls with a disappointing thud for me. We are in for a long night”, the university teacher concluded.
But a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who did not want his name in print stated: “What do you expect? The President has many political debts to repay and he has to pay those debts. To be President in this country, you will incur many political debts, many I Owe Yous (IOUs) as I like to call them, across the country. And when you are President, you have to pay back. You have no choice in this and this is what President Tinubu is doing.
“Yes, I agree that there many politicians on the ministerial list. But there are also technocrats. And remember that the list is incomplete. There just 28 names, out of at least 36, as in one from each state. So, more technocrats will still be nominated. There are ongoing efforts to nominate more members of the cabinet and technocrats will get in.
“Besides, technocrats will be better accommodated when the President appoints heads of federal agencies and their board members. He has to be strategic. As a party too, APC has to be strategic. The politicians on the ministerial lists played crucial roles in the emergence of the President as our party’s candidate and during the general elections. They have to be compensated. And they still have big roles to play in re-electing Tinubu and keeping our party in power. Yes, it is a game. We have to play it,” the APC chieftain stressed.”