Following the announcement of the ministerial nominees at the plenary session of the Senate on Tuesday, October 6, the speculation that some popular Nigerians would make the list became negated when their names were not among those announced during the session.
Below are 5 prospective nominees that lost out in President Buhari’s ministerial list:
1. Prof. Pat Utomi
There were speculation that technocrat, Prof Pat Utomi was enlisted for the position of finance minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet. Prof Utomi was expected to fill the vacuum left by erstwhile minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The former presidential candidate, served on the key apex private sector associations including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
Utomi, who is now a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), was one of biggest critics of former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
2. Abike Dabiri- Erewa
Dabiri, was a former TV personality and member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Constituency in Lagos state.
She was the Chairman of the House committee on media and publicity. Dabiri-Erewa worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for fifteen years, anchoring the weekly NTA Newsline programme and taking a particular interest in poverty and social justice issues. She retired from her position at Nigerian Television Authority to stand for election in the House of Representatives, winning with a substantial majority. She was elected for the first time in 2003, re-elected in 2007 and again in 2011.
President Buhari was urged by students under the aegis of the National Association of Students of English and Literary Studies (NASELS) to draft Abike Dabiri into his cabinet.
3. Femi Falana (SAN)
Foremost lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) was reportedly picked by President Muhammadu Buhari to emerge as the next Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
President Buhari fell in love with Falana for his perceived forthrightness and penchant for fighting for the interests of the underprivileged.
Falana’s selection also substantiates the notion that the president has decided to be his own man and painstakingly keep to a personal script prepared by him to serve as a guide in making justifiable appointments to his cabinet.
A human rights group, World Alliance Against Terrorism, Violence And Inhuman Treatment (WAATVAIT) described Falana as a distinguished and respectable human right activist with incorruptible and dogged character in his private and public life.
4. Olagunsoye Oyinlola
The former governor of Osun state was recommended for his support and loyalty to Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the APC.
Oyinlola, a one-time secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) defected to the APC shortly before the Osun state governorship election and he is a close associate of Obasanjo.
He became the governor of Osun state in May 2003, and was reelected in 2007. On 26 November 2010 a court of appeal nullified his election.
5. Chukwuma Soludo
Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo was reported to have been presented by former president Olusegun Obasanjo as the possible Minister of Finance for President Buhari’s administration.
Soludo was a member of the economic team for the Obasanjo administration prior to becoming the governor of CBN.
Many APC chieftains kicked against his candidature on two grounds. One is that Soludo remains a card carrying member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and his appointment would be seen as taking from Peter to pay Paul.
The other is that it was under Soludo that the banking sector almost collapsed, a situation confirmed by former CBN governor and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a staunch supporter of the APC.