Sunday, 3 April 2016

By Ibidapo Balogun

Barring any last-minute change in plans, former Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, may emerge the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Competent WESTERN POST sources said President Buhari communicated his plans to former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who told him that if he wanted a candidate for CoS from the South-west, he should allow him make the nomination.

But Buhari was said to have insisted it was Fashola he wanted for the job. The former Lagos governor had become cosy with Buhari who included him in his delegation to the just-concluded G7 Summit in Germany.

At the summit, Fashola was said to have worked closely with President Buhari, attending meetings with the president on the sidelines of the summit.

Fashola’s experience as Chief of Staff to Tinubu between 2003 and 2007 will come handy if given the job.

There has been no love lost between Fashola and Tinubu for some times now. Apart from the initial disagreements over some issues around tax collection in Lagos and the percentage due to Alfa Beta, a company collecting tax in Lagos, which was linked to Tinubu, the duo also disagreed over who would succeed Fashola in Lagos.

While Tinubu had backed Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who eventually became governor, Fashola had drafted his former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Supo Shasore, into the APC governorship race who lost.

Fashola is not the only former governor in the South-west who had become close to President Buhari. The other is former Ekiti State governor Kayode Fayemi.

Like Fashola, Fayemi may also bag an appointment from Buhari (though it may not be a ministerial job)whether or not Asiwaju supports it.

Other persons who may make Buhari’s cabinet, according to sources, include former Minister of Education, Dr. (Mrs.) Oby Ezekwesili and Dr. Pat Utomi.





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