Emerging signals indicate that a former governorship candidate of the APC in Cross River State, Senator John Owan Enoh is among those likely to make the list of nominees for appointment as minister by the president, Bola Tinubu.
TNN learnt that the immediate past governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and a former aspirant for the senate seat of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Ekperikpe Ekpo are also possible choices of the president for the position.
In Bayelsa State, there were speculations during the weekend, that the candidate of the APC for the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva was considering compromising his ticket if he got a green light from Tinubu for a ministerial appointment.
It was also learnt from those on the corridors of power, that Ebitimi Amgbare who has been Tinubu’s ardent follower for decades, was being considered to take the Bayelsa slot.
In Rivers, while it is almost certain that Nyesom Wike would take one of the slots, there were speculations that Senator Magnus Abe was being tipped to take a second slot for the state. It was learnt that Rivers will likely produce two ministers-one to represent the state and the other to represent the south south.
In Cross River, the contest is getting more interesting, with two possible contenders-Senator John Owan Enoh and Senator Victor Ndoma Egba. The duo are known allies of Tinubu. There were speculations that the immediate past governor, Prof Ben Ayade and the APC women leader, Dr Betta Edu were also jostling for a slot, but indications have emerged that the duo may have lost out.
Owan Enoh’s elder brother is currently the secretary to the Cross River State government, Prof Anthony Owan Enoh. There are those who believe that this may affect the chances of the former senator.
Some have even inferred that the governor, Prince Bassey Otu was opposing Owan Enoh as choice for the ministerial slot for the state. The governor has not reacted to this though.
But Owan Enoh who engaged Otu in an intense legal battle before the general election had withdrawn all court cases against Otu on Tinubu’s instructions and had fought for Otu’s victory. He even went out of his senatorial district to campaign for the governor in the other senatorial districts. Tinu was to promise that he would not regret his decision to obey his instructions.
For Ndoma-Egba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, his relationship with the Tinubu political family spanned over decades. Sources said it was the former senate leader who introduced Owan Enoh to Tinubu, although this could not be independently confirmed as at the time of this report.
But Ndoma-Egba, known to have contributed so much to the APC in the state, just like Owan Enoh, including his investments to the party long before Ayade moved the state’s structure of the PDP into the APC, ranks top on the radar of those being tipped to occupy the ministerial seat.
He is seen as a technocrat and someone who could help stabilise the Tinubu’s government. But there are fears that a very top senator from Akwa Ibom who has become very close to Tinubu may be working against his interest.