President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is yet to send the list of his ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation 48 hours before the deadline despite mounting pressure to do so.
The delay by the president to unveil his cabinet had heightened expectations from Nigerians, who are keenly waiting for the list of ministers that would assist the president to deliver his Renewed Hope Agenda.
Tinubu has till Friday, July 28, to submit the list to the Senate in line with section 42(a) of the constitution, which states that “The nomination of any person to the office of a minister for confirmation by the Senate shall be done within sixty days after the date the president has taken the oath of office”.
He was inaugurated on May 29.
Federal lawmakers also said they were awaiting the ministerial list from the president and promised to screen the nominees before embarking on their annual vacation.
There are reports that the security and anti-graft agencies have completed the necessary checks on the nominees and that the president is running final checks on them.
The Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele, yesterday, disclosed that the much-expected ministerial list will be received by the Senate in the next 48 hours.
Speaking at his 60th birthday anniversary lecture and book presentation in Abuja yesterday, the senator said President Tinubu told him Tuesday morning that he would not be able to attend his birthday lecture because of the communication he needed to submit to the Senate.
Bamidele, who served as Tinubu’s Senior Legislative Aide (SLA) in 1992 when the latter was a senator, quoted the president as saying: “Let me tell you, I need to make myself unavailable for the next 48 hours because a correspondence must come to the Senate, a very crucial correspondence.”
He further said: “So, Mr President prayed for me. We should tell the rest of the Nigerians to pray to be able to make the right decision so that when Nigerians hear the list of his ministers, they will say yes; this is uncommon, and joins us to pray for Mr. President. He needed to be away from any kind of influence.”
Some weeks ago, speculations were rife about the identities of the ministerial nominees but Dele Alake, the Presidential spokesman, had described the lists in circulation as “mere fabrications”.
“About the ministerial list, the simple truth is that you know, this is an executive presidency, we’re not running a parliamentary system. So, the president, the bucks stop on his table, and he decides when it is fit and proper for him to make his cabinet list public.
“So, we are not unaware of all the speculations, innuendos and rumours, all kinds of things in the media. Now, as a media man, I chuckled to myself that people just want to sell, so they just fabricate.
“I can tell you all of those things you’ve been reading in the media are mere fabrications. There is no iota of truth in all of those things. When the president is good and ready, you will be the first to know about his intentions,” he told journalists.
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, expressed optimism that the ministerial list would be forwarded to the Senate before the deadline.
He reacted amid concern over the delay in the release of the names of Nigerians who would form members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration 48 hours before the deadline.
When told about the impending deadline as spelt out by the constitutional provisions, Abdulaziz simply said: “It’s on course. We will meet the deadline.”