There were strong indications that between 12 and 15 ex-ministers will join President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet for his next tenure.
It was learnt that the ex-ministers’ names are on the list which was reportedly submitted to Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Wednesday.
But there was still a pall of uncertainty on the size of the cabinet.
The President has the constitutional right to have a 36-man or a 42-man cabinet.
The President is said to have decided to retain some of the ex-ministers on merit.
Those speculated to be on the list last night are ex-Ministers of Justice and AGF Abubakar Malami ( SAN); Adamu Adamu( Education); Hadi Sirika ( Aviation); Zainab Ahmed (Finance); Aisha Abubakar (Women Affairs); Lai Mohammed ( Information); Babatunde Fashola (Works, Power and Housing); Rotimi Amaechi (Transportation); Mohammed Musa Bello( FCT); Suleiman Adamu Kazaure (Water Resources); Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (Science & Technology); Solomon Dalung (Sports & Youths Development) and others.
Although Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, former governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti) and Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos) were also being speculated last night to have made the list, none of our sources could confirm such speculations.
The sources confirmed that some ex-ministers, such as Adebayo Shittu (Communications) and Okechukwu Enelamah (Trade and Industry) lost the battle to return to the cabinet.
A government source said: “I know that the two women ex-ministers are returning to the cabinet. We have a few others who have really added value that the President will be retaining.
“It is not a total overhaul, which you are anticipating. What the President promised was to leave sustainable legacies in his second term.”
As of press time, it was difficult to ascertain whether or not the President of the Senate had received the ministerial list.
It was uncertain whether or not the President will retain the 36- member cabinet in his first term or expand it.
Section 147(1-3), provides that the President should have no fewer than 36 ministers at one per state.
The section reads: “There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President.
“Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.
“Any appointment under Subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of Section 14(3) of this Constitution:
”Provided that in giving effect to the Provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each state, who shall be an indigene of such state.”