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Ministerial List: Fashola, Fayemi, Keyamo, Others Missing



As President Bola Tinubu finally announced his ministerial nominees, it is worthy of note that some names who had earlier been predicted are missing from the two lists released and announced by the Senate for screening and confirmation.
AN24 reported that President Tinubu on July 27 through his Chief of Staff, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, sent the first list of nominees to the Senate containing 28 names. Again, Tinubu on August 2, sent an additional 19 nominees to the Red Chamber through Gbajabiamila.
Long before Tinubu submitted his lists to Senate President Godswill Akpabio, there were speculations about the contents, with many analysts expecting individuals who played vital roles in President Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election to be announced.
Some of the names political analysts had predicted to form Tinubu’s cabinet include Babatunde Fashola, Kayode Fayemi, James Faleke, Ibikunle Amosun, Femi Fani-Kayode, Festus Keyamo, Ovie Omo-Agege, Ben Ayade, Dimeji Bankole, Bayo Onanuga, among many others.
However, some of the people projected to be on President Bola Tinubu’s list did not make the first and second lists he submitted to the Senate.

Babatunde Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, a close ally of President Tinubu, did not make the list. The former Minister of Power, Works and Housing served as Chief of Staff under Asiwaju Tinubu as Lagos State Governor. Fashola went on to take over governance of the state from Tinubu in 2007. Due to the accord between the two politicians, it was believed that Fashola, who served in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government would be returned to his Lagos predecessor’s cabinet. But Fashola, who many regarded as one of the ‘Star Boys’ of Buhari’s administration didn’t make Tinubu’s cabinet.

 Kayode Fayemi

The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, surprisingly did not make President Tinubu’s ministerial list. The relationship between the duo dates back to the mid-90s during the struggle for democracy in Nigeria. Fayemi has always enjoyed the privileges offered by Tinubu throughout his political career. During the All Progressives Congress primaries that produced Tinubu as the party’s flagbearer, Fayemi stepped down for him.
The former Ekiti State governor was the Minister of Solid Minerals Development in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet from November 11, 2015, to May 30, 2018, when he resigned to contest for a second term as Governor of Ekiti State.

James Faleke

The House of Representatives member representing Ikeja Constituency, Hon. James Faleke is regarded as one of the staunch political followers of President Tinubu. He was predicted to be the Chief of Staff to the President before the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila was appointed. The rumour of Faleke joining Tinubu’s cabinet became stronger when the lawmaker ignored the governorship seat of Kogi State. The Kogi-born politician was believed to be the strongest hand to take over from Governor Yahaya Bello due to several facts, one of them being that he is from Kogi West Senatorial District, a region that had not produced any democratically elected governor since the creation of the state in 1991.
In April 2022, Faleke led thousands of members of the Tinubu Support Groups (TSG) to pick a N100 million presidential Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for President Tinubu in Abuja. He was the Secretary of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC). Based on his closeness and relationship with Asiwaju Tinubu, which has been for many decades, some people felt Faleke after losing the Chief of Staff to Gbajabiamila will be compensated with a ministerial position but he didn’t make the list.

Ibikunle Amosun

Former Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun was also one of those who stepped down for President Tinubu during the APC presidential primary election, thereby giving the impression that the President may give him a chair in his cabinet. However, this might not be the case as he was not included in the two lists submitted to the Senate.
Femi Fani-Kayode
Former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Femi Fani-Kayode, who left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join the ruling party was among those rumoured to have been listed for ministerial appointments. He was one of the political archenemies of Tinubu before he jumped ship and did not hesitate to hurl abusive words at the former Lagos State Governor. However, during the campaigns, he was appointed a spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.
His failure to clinch a place in Tinubu’s cabinet opened room for some of his followers to mock him for leaving the opposition party when he was needed.
Festus Keyamo
Festus Keyamo was very visible during the presidential campaign. At any given opportunity, the immediate past Minister of State for Labour and Employment, who served as the Spokesperson of the Tinubu-Shettima Campaign Organisation did not fail to sell Tinubu’s candidacy. He marketed the APC presidential candidate during the last general elections and also took bullets on many occasions in defense of Tinubu and Shettima. However, Keyamo lost the Delta State slot to Stella Okotete.
Ovie Omo-Agege
After losing the governorship election in Delta State, former Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, became a possible choice in Tinubu’s cabinet. Omo-Agege contributed a lot to Delta APC, he is one of the major backbones of the party in the state. Little wonder he was predicted to be appointed into Tinubu’s cabinet but his name was missing in the two ministerial lists sent to Senate.
Ben Ayade
Former Cross Rivers State Governor, Ben Ayade and President Tinubu shared a strong bond. Both men have always described each other fondly. When Tinubu visited him during the pre-election period, Ayade said he has a long-standing excellent relationship with the former Lagos boss, pointing out that each time he sought his advice on issues, he always got it.
Bayo Onanuga

In a confusing twist, the name of media guru and former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Bayo Onanuga was omitted in the ministerial list of President Tinubu. There were speculation that he would be handed a portfolio in the president’s cabinet when his name was not included in the media team of Tinubu after inauguration.

Onanuga was the Director Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation and gave major opposition parties a run for their money. He fiercely defended the president during the campaign period, leaving Nigerians to believe that his space in Tinubu’s cabinet was unshakeable.

Onanuga was the brain behind the union between Tinubu and former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

During the visit, where Tinubu pleaded with Ayade to drop his presidential ambition to support him, the President described himself as the former Cross River governor’s senior brother. As foreseen, Ayade during APC’s primary, withdrew from the race and threw his weight behind Tinubu. This brought the suspicion that the Ayade would be compensated with a ministerial slot when Tinubu begins to form his cabinet. But he lost the slot of Cross River to APC National Women Leader, Dr. Betta Edu and Senator John Enoh.
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