Barring last minute changes, any of the trio of Retired Col. Hameed Ali, current Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, outgone Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, or former Lagos State governor and outgone Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Babatunde Raji Fashola, will be named as substantive Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari in what is gradually emerging as part of the president’s plan to attract less controversies and rejig his cabinet for the next four years, Sunday INDEPENDENT reliably learnt early in the week.
With the presidential inauguration last week, which ushered in President Buhari into his second tenure in office, all eyes are now set on who gets appointed into his kitchen cabinet and the federal executive council made up of ministers and key appointees.
The Office of the CoS and key ministerial appointments have become subject of intense lobbying, intrigues and horse trading among friends and family members of Buhari, it was learnt. This, according to the newspaper findings, became apparent after the president made plain that he intends to effect sweeping changes in the next four years. Even more, there are those who say that Buhari might not have been impassive about the cabinet composition which appeared lopsided with the bulk of his key men coming from his geographical zone and religion.
The president, earlier in April had made a short trip out of the country to UK ostensibly on a private visit. But as exclusively reported by Sunday INDEPENDENT even before the trip was made public, President Buhari had the trip in order to consider reports on his ministers and to consider possible candidates for his second term.
According to presidency sources, Mr President came to the realisation that unless a clean sweep is made of his kitchen cabinet made up principally of his close relatives no federal cabinet can function well.
“Unknown to many, President Buhari follows up on many of those complaints made about his principal staff like Abba Kyari (chief of staff). It will be by an extremely weird circumstance that he will make it back into his cabinet,” explained a presidency source to the newspaper.