September 27, 2023

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Ministerial Nominees For Inauguration This Week *How Lokpobiri Got Nominated

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Barring last minute adjustments, the newly confirmed ministerial nominees are to be inaugurated by the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu this week.

While some sources in The Presidency said the inauguration may hold on Wednesday, another confidant said it is likely to be on Friday. But signals available to TNN showed that it is very likely to happen this week.

The nominees were confirmed by the senate after one week of screening. Only three of the 48 nominees are yet to be cleared.

Among those that passed the senate test are a former governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, a former gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Cross River State, Senator John Owan Enoh, a former commissioner in the same state, Dr Betta Edu, a former minister under the Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari era, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, a former senatorial aspirant in Akwa Ibom, Obong Ekperikpe Ekpo, among others.

This is coming even as it has emerged that Wike may have played a part in the emergence of Lokpobiri as ministerial nominee. The former governor was said to have got involved because of the gubernatorial ambition of Chief Timipre Sylva.

Lokpobiri and Sylva have not been political friends for years now. In fact, Lokpobiri was known to have led a faction of the APC in Bayelsa State, while Sylva led another.

But in the recent past, Lokpobiri has become an ally of Wike. While Wike was governor, Lokpobiri had been invited to inaugurate one of the projects undertaken by the former governor.

At other state events organised by Wike, Lokpobi’s face was always seen. Towards the end of Wike’s government, Sylva’s face became a regular feature. It was learnt that Wike made efforts to reconcile Sylva with Lokobiri.

Although, Sylva was not in support of Lokpobiri as a ministerial nominee. But with Wike, Sylva was said to have accepted, especially when a deal was said to have been struck, that Lokpobiri would work with Sylva to enable him win the November election.

It is doubtful if Lokpobiri will truly support Sylva to win. Inside sources within the APC told TNN that there were doubts as to the possibility of the duo working together again.

Only last week, one of Sylva core supporters, Israel Sunny-Goli, announced publicly that he was leaving Sylva and would not work for his electoral success because the former minister was taking his loyalty for granted.

Apart from Sunny-Goli, many other key supporters are said to have been angry with Sylva for not showing true leadership. Some of them even vowed to remain in the APC to work against his victory.


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