The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has vetoed the nomination of Lagos State Governor, Barrister Babatunde Fashola, SAN and former Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi as ministers in the yet to be constituted cabinet of President-elect, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, Hallmark has learnt.
This development, it was gathered, is already causing ripples in the camp of the President-elect and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sources close to the APC leader informed that he is not favourably disposed to the two becoming ministers without his input.
It was, however, learnt that, some of the party’s leaders have intervened in the matter and the issue is set to be discussed at an enlarged meeting of the party in Abuja.
“Apart from the problematic issue of sharing positions in the National Assembly, ministerial appointments is also giving party elders serious concern”, party sources disclosed.
Hallmark gathered that Buhari is favourably disposed to Fashola becoming the minister of works in his cabinet and Fayemi, equally overseeing another strategic ministry which has however not been disclosed.
A source disclosed that Tinubu is not pleased with the works ministry which is being considered for Fashola.
He also revealed further that the President-elect picking Fashola especially from Lagos would also narrow down the chances of others Tinubu may want to nominate and that he may have been negotiating for something else for Lagos.
“The President-elect picking Fashola from Lagos would narrow down Tinubu’s list of nominees and he may have been negotiating for another position for Lagos to be filled up by another person”.
Hallmark learnt that during the electioneering campaign, Governor Fashola was persuaded to step down for the wife of Tinubu, Oluremi, so she could return to the Senate since they were both from the Lagos Central Senatorial District, but was promised a ministerial appointment if the APC wins the presidential election.
Based on this arrangement and agreement, Fashola consequently stepped down for Senator Remi Tinubu and campaigned seriously for Buhari’s emergence at the polls.
Reacting to the allegation, an APC leader in Lagos State who wants to remain anonymous, told Hallmark that ordinarily, the nomination of a candidate should come from the party in the state, with inputs from all its leaders, adding that picking a nominee for such an important position should not be the prerogative of one person, but the collective decision of leaders of the party in the state.
He was also of the opinion that the president has the right to pick whom he wants to work with.
Also reacting, the President, Nigerian Voters Assembly, Comrade Moshood Erubami, who is also a leader of the APC, said it was wrong for an individual to reject the nomination of the President elect, since he has the power to nominate whom he wants.
He said the constitution is clear on this because a minister must come from each state.
He said that the president also has the right to nominate technocrats and that he should not be hoodwinked by anybody.
When Hallmark contacted the Director of Media and Publicity, All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Garba Shehu, he said he was not aware of such a thing and has no information to offer.
“I have no information on this”, he said.
In his own reaction, the Chief Press Secretary to Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Mr Yinka Oyebode, said the speculation was a social media posting which should be ignored.
He said that unsubstantiated reports over ministerial nominations in the media should not be taken seriously as people just post what suits them.