The 12 ministerial nominees formally presented to the Senate yesterday cut across various political interests and tendencies in the polity.
In making the nomination, the president has gone for a combination of political carriage and gender equity. Jigawa State lost to Kano the privilege of producing the minister for the North-west geopolitical zone.
While Rivers State retained the slot for the South-South geopolitical zone, the feminine gender which held that position lost the position as a man was nominated from the state apparently to add more muscle to unfolding political dispute between Governor Rotimi Amaechi and his enemies in Abuja.
Most of the nominees were made without the inputs of the governors with the notable exception of the nominees from Akwa Ibom and Niger States.
Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, Osun
Alhaji Jelili Adesiyan, from Osun State was a Commissioner for Education under the administration of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from 2007 to November 2010 when the Court of Appeal, Ibadan upturned the April 14, 2007 election and announced Mr. Rauf Aregbesola as the winner of the election.
A close associate of Senator Iyiola Omisore, Alhaji Adesiyan was fingered in the murder of former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige in his Ibadan home in 2001.
Senator Musiliu Obanikoro Lagos
Senator Musliu Obanikoro is a leading member of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State and was the party’s gubernatorial candidate in 2007, following which he was appointed the country’s High Commissioner to Ghana. Obanikoro was recently appointed chairman of the board of the Industrial Training Fund.
Popularly known as Koro, Obanikoro started his political tutelage as chairman of Lagos Island Local Government Area, the council housing the headquarters of majority of the country’s banks. Following that, he was appointed Works Commissioner in the Alliance for Democracy administration of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu and served in that capacity till 2003 when he was elected to the Senate to represent Lagos Central Senatorial District.
Mr. Boni Haruna, Adamawa
Haruna, a former journalist was governor of Adamawa State between 1999 and 2007. A one time very dependable associate of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, he left the PDP alongside Atiku to join the then Action Congress, AC at the inception of that party in 2006 but subsequently returned to the PDP few years ago as he sought to carve an independent political landscape for himself. He is expected to bring the weight of his former office to bear in the contest of political power with the incumbent governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako who succeeded him in office.
Gen. Mohammed Gusau, Zamfara
General Gusau, former Chief of Army Staff, severally National Security Adviser and renowned intelligence guru, Gusau is representing Zamfara State in the federal cabinet.
Gusau left his last appointment as NSA in 2010 to seek the approval of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, NPLF in the run up to the 2011 presidential election.
A respected intelligence chief, he is held in high reputation locally and internationally and is expected to bring much stability to the Jonathan cabinet especially given the fact that he is largely expected to take charge of the defence portfolio. In that position, he is expected to strengthen the arms of the military in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency, which the new defence chief, Air Marshall Badeh promised will end by April.
Dr Tammy Danagogo, Rivers
Dr. Tammy Danagogo was twice a Commissioner in Rivers State in the administration of Mr. Chibuike Amaechi when he served as Commissioner for Urban Development and before that, as commissioner in the ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs.
He resigned his appointment last year from Amaechi’s cabinet following the burgeoning political crisis in the state arising from the division in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Danagogo who holds a masters degree in law was Executive Chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, Abonnema from April, 2004-May, 2007. After his full term, he was a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu, Port Harcourt from June, 2007-October, 2008.
Alhaji Aminu Wali, Kano
Alhaji Aminu Wali is the outgoing ambassador of Nigeria to China and one of the leading figures of the PDP in the country and in Kano in particular. He was Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters between 1999 and 2003.
Hajia Jamilla Salik, Kano
A lawyer and one of the leading activists for women rights in Kano State, Salik is married to Ahmed Salik, who was the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP leader in the House of Representatives in 2007.
A one-time associate of Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, she contested for a seat in the Kano State House of Assembly in 2007 on the platform of the PDP with Kwankwaso’s support but lost in the election. She is, however, reported to have become estranged from the Kwankwaso camp and is now known to be in the anti-Kwankwaso camp in Kano.
Asabe Asmau Ahmed, Niger
Until now, special adviser to the governor of Niger State on Investment, she was at one time a staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC from where she ventured into private business.
She is a daughter of the pioneer vice-chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, FUT, Minna, Prof. Jonathan Ndagi. She was nominated by Governor Babangida Aliyu.
Akon Eyakenyi, Akwa Ibom
Mrs. Ekanyenyi a seasoned teacher was a commissioner for culture and tourism during the Victor Attah regime. She was recently appointed chairman of the State Technical Education Board.
Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, Sokoto
Dr. Alhassan is a staff of the Sokoto State Ministry of Health and has had no political experience. His appointment is his first venture into the political arena.
Hon. Mohammed Wakil, Borno
Mohammed Wakil, a lawyer was the first majority leader of the House of Representatives at the advent of the Fourth Republic in 1999.