Following the victory of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the presidential elections, internal politicking over the formation of the cabinet of president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, has started in earnest.
Although, some individuals have been penciled down for certain offices, selection of those to fill the coveted “juicy” positions may not be an easy task as powerful party members and others who gave Buhari support from outside the APC are pushing one or two nominees they believe can do a good job.
DAILY POST on Monday gathered that former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo may have been presented by former president Olusegun Obasanjo as the possible Minister of Finance for the Buhari administration.
Soludo was a member of the economic team for the Obasanjo administration prior to becoming the governor of the CBN.
Soludo’s presentation to the incoming administration as candidate for Minister of Finance is reportedly causing disquiet within the inner circles of the party, 247ureports said.
Many APC chieftains are said to be against his candidature on two grounds. One is that Soludo remains a card carrying member of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and his appointment would been as taking from Peter to pay Paul.
The other is that it was under Soludo that the banking sector almost collapsed, a situation confirmed by former CBN chief and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a staunch supporter of the APC.
It was also under Sanusi that the banking industry went through a recapitalisation process that led to the reduction in the number of banks from 50 to 25.
His clean up also witnessed the prosecution of bank Chief Executive Officers who were discovered to have robbed their own banks by almost unilaterally awarding contracts to phoney organisations and companies they either own or had substantial omnterest in.
DAILY POST gathered that former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, is strongly against Obasanjo’s recommendation.
Sources say he had in fact reached an agreement with Buhari prior to the APC presidential primaries concerning appointment into ministerial positions.
Tinubu, it was learnt, extracted an agreement from Buhari, to which the president-elect appended his signature.
According to the agreement, Tinubu will provide names for nine ministerial positions.
Some of the positions are said to include Petroleum, Finance, Works, Federal Capital Territory and Interior.
It is to this end that the camp of the party’s co-founder, Tinubu, frowns at the presentation of Soludo as Minister of Finance.
Soludo, who is keen on returning to government, is reported to have been convinced by Obasanjo to accept the position.
It is however left to be seen if Buhari will oblige Obasanjo’s request or stick to his agreement with Tinubu.
Obasanjo played a key role in Buhari’s emergence as APC presidential flagbearer and his eventual victory at the polls, thus, his words would not be discarded with a mere wave of the hand.
Soludo had been heavily critical of the economic policies of the Jonathan administration.
The most critical was in the build up to the general election where he alleged that the current adminstration mismanaged over N20 trillion of Nigeria’s money.
His criticisms, which were published in major newspapers and websites, unsettled the Jonathan administration with the Minister of Finance, Nigozi Okonjo-Iweala, taking on Soludo in more than one rejoinders.
Soludo faced a legal battle spearheaded by the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), when he was, in 2012, accused of taking kickbacks from the company that handled the production of polymer notes he introduced during his tenure as CBN Governor.
The case was used to cast a dent on his Anambra gubernatorial aspiration which he lost.
Soludo was in February 2015 cleared of all the charges.