Buhari admits that some of the persons he appointed ministers in 2015 had no business in his team and were foisted on him by his political party.
President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that he largely settled for the wrong choices when he assembled his first term cabinet in 2015.
According to Buhari, his party, the governing APC, foisted individuals on him who went on to flounder on the job.
The president famously took six months to unveil his team in 2015 as the economy slipped into a recession, infrastructure collapsed around him and the value of the Naira depreciated.
Buhari was re-elected for a second term in office on February 23, 2019.
In a maiden dinner affair with the new leadership of the National Assembly at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Thursday, July 11, 2019, Buhari vowed that only persons who have been tested and who are capable of delivering on assigned mandates, will make his second term ministerial list.
Like in 2015, the nation has been waiting for President Buhari to name his second term cabinet, but the president says even though he’s under immense pressure to do so, he would only settle for the best.
“I’m very much aware about it (public expectations over the list); I’m under tremendous pressure on it. But the last cabinet which I headed, most of them, the majority of them I didn’t know them. I had to accept the names and recommendations from the party and other individuals.
“I worked with them for three and half years at least; meeting twice or two weeks in a month. So I know them now.
“But this time around, I’m going to be quite me in the sense that I will pick people I personally know”, he vowed.
President Buhari also enjoined lawmakers to partner with the executive arm in leaving a lasting legacy for the country given that his administration was on its last lap.
The president advised the National Assembly to always avoid comparing their parliamentary procedures with those of advanced democracies like the United States and the United Kingdom.
Lawan denies promises over list
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, refuted media reports which quoted him as saying that President Buhari would submit the ministerial list to the senate this week.
Lawan said: “Let me take the opportunity to correct that. A senator raised a point of order under personal explanation.
“He said we should be sent the list of the ministers by the executive arm of government and in my response I said the executive is working so hard to ensure that the list of Nigerians that will help this administration do its work is going to be transmitted and we could even receive it this week.
“’We could’ is conditional and I will urge everybody here to report it as it is.”
A ministerial list and parliamentary recess
Other principal and presiding officers of the national assembly who attended the late night dinner with the nation’s president included the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other presidential aides also attended the meeting.
Pulse had exclusively reported this week that President Buhari is under immense pressure from party chieftains in the 36 states to enlist their handpicked candidates as nominees for the federal cabinet.
The national assembly will embark on recess before the end of July and Buhari says he’s aware that lawmakers have to receive his cabinet list for mandatory vetting and clearance procedures before their vacation.
The national assembly will reconvene in September.
“Many at this dinner meeting are saying they want to see the list of the proposed cabinet so that they can go on leave peacefully. I’m very much aware of that”, Buhari offered.
Pulse had also reported that about half of the president's first term team would be making a return to the 'Next Level' cabinet.