Uncertainty now surrounds the constitution of the next federal cabinet by President Muhammadu Buhari who sources say is keeping All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, ministers, associates and loyalists guessing on who are likely to be part of his team.
The situation notwithstanding, some of the outgoing ministers are lobbying to remain in office.
The president seems to have disappointed some lobbyists who hurriedly flew to London in anticipation of a 12-day break by him.
He was yet to make the trip as at press time.
Sources said yesterday that between three and five ministers who have been members of the President’s Kitchen Cabinet in the last four years may be re-appointed.
One of the ministers was made the chairman of the Finance Committee of the Presidential Campaign Council during the just-concluded general elections.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that it has been difficult for APC leaders including governors, ministers and the president’s associates to know his thinking on his coming cabinet.
Top posts on the card in the jostle or aspiration for cabinet appointments include the Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Finance, Petroleum Resources, Power, Works and Housing, Transportation, Education, Aviation, Budget and National Planning, Defence, Interior and Communications
It was learnt that despite complaints about the job, about 60 per cent of the current ministers want to serve in the next cabinet.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “No one knows the mindset of the President on how he will constitute the next Federal Executive Council (FEC). The situation is so dicey that those rated as closer to the President in the cabinet cannot authoritatively say whether or not they will be retained.
“Despite reservations, about 60 per cent of the ministers prefer to remain if they have their way. This is why many serving ministers have been lobbying those who have the ears of the President for retention.
“One certain thing is that the new coming FEC will be a cabinet of legacies. The President has been stating it that he wants to leave sustainable legacies behind. He will go for hardworking candidates. He has agreed with his team that time is no longer on his side.
“The President will also, this time around, not condone the idea of some powerful lobbyists and leaders recommending candidates for ministerial appointments. He hardly knew some members of the outgoing FEC.
“Recently, when the President announced that he will be on a vacation in London, some lobbyists embarked on emergency trip to Britain to await his arrival. But the President caught them unawares by delaying his trip. This is the dimension the race for cabinet slots is taking. The President is shutting out lobbyists.