Immediate past governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola, may have been shortlisted to occupy the post of chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, This Day has learnt.
Fashola, whom the president reportedly likes is said to be among the top candidates to make Buhari’s cabinet alongside former head of service, Mr. Steve Oronsaye; former chief of army staff, lt-general Abdulrahman Dambazzau; former managing director of New Nigerian Newspapers, Adamu Adamu, and former military administrator of Kaduna state, col. Hammed Ali.
Dambazzau, according to This Day sources, is being considered for the post of National Security Adviser (NSA) while Fashola, Oronsaye and Ali are being considered for the position of Chief of Staff to the president.
While it is mooted that Adamu may be made the principal secretary to the president, he is also said to be among the favourites for the chairmanship of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but has reportedly showed disinterest in heading the anti-corruption agency.
President Buhari’s confidence in Fashola is exemplified by tasking him with the role of heading a committee to review the 800-page report submitted by the Ahmed Joda-led Transition Committee.
Meanwhile, Oronsaye, was reportedly recommended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, whom sources have disclosed, might clinch the post because of his wealth of experience in the public sector and institutional memory, and is deemed a steady hand.
Orosanye, former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi and Ogbonnaya Onu have also been listed as likely candidates to emerge as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), although a presidency source revealed that Amaechi, who is also from the south-south, is viewed as a taskmaster and not a bureaucrat, while Onu from the South-east is well liked because of his calmness and loyalty.
However, the emergence of senator Ike Ekweremadu as the deputy senate president may have reduced his chances of clinching the post.
This Day gathered that part of the reason Buhari rejected ministerial nominees submitted by the state chapters of the APC was because the list was said to have been dominated by the names of the party’s national officers.
“When the NWC members met with Buhari on the issue of ministerial appointments, though the national chairman refused to tender the request of some of his colleagues who want to be made ministers, the favour he asked of him (Buhari) was for the NWC to be carried along in the nomination process.
“But it seems President Buhari knew what was on the card and he told the party leaders right there and then not to contemplate becoming part of his cabinet. He told them to stay where they are and build a strong party,” a party source stated.
Recall that president Buhari yesterday, expressed his displeasure over the party members’ battle for positions in his cabinet.