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PROFILE: Trusted ally, former pilot, university teacher… the ‘ministers’ Buhari picked from CPC

PROFILE: Trusted ally, former pilot, university teacher… the ‘ministers’ Buhari picked from CPC
October 02
13:05 2015
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The wait is unofficially over. President Muhammadu Buhari has finally ended prolonged wait for the appointment of his ministers by sending a 21-man list to the senate on Wednesday.

Although the list won’t be made public until Tuesday, TheCable already exclusively named some of the nominees. Of the 21 names on the list, at least three were picked from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC): Malami Abubakar, Hadi Sirika and Adebayo Shittu. Who are they, and what about them piqued Buhari’s interest?

ADEBAYO SHITTU: SUFFERED A LOT FOR BUHARI

Adebayo Shittu

Shittu may not rank among the biggest names in national politics, but he has been politically active since 1979. However, by his own admission, he is a politician “with a second address”.

Asked by an interviewer in 2012 what he had been up to, the former Oyo state attorney-general said: “I thank God that I am a politician with a second address; so, when politicking is over, anybody who has a job, and a good job at that, would revert to his job, face that job while not completely abandoning politics. So, as a lawyer and a very busy one at that, I have been engaged with my lawyering job, but that is not to say that I have not been active politically.”

That was roughly one year after he contested and lost the Oyo state governorship election on the platform of CPC, having also failed at the polls in 2007 before the advent of CPC. Perhaps drawing from Buhari’s own ascension to power, Shittu has not given up on his governorship ambition. In fact, just last month, he said he would become governor of the state “one day”.

Why has Buhari picked him? Well, only the president can answer. However, it is a fact that Shittu has been with the president for decades, and he is one of his staunchest loyalists in the southwest. Of note, after CPC and other parties merged with the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Buhari’s sake, Shittu was unhappy with how CPC members were discarded at the state level by the Oyo state APC. But, while similarly-aggrieved All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) members defected to Labout Party, Shittu refused to follow suit, saying: “Myself and numerous of CPC supporters elected to remain in the party because of our commitment to General Buhari. I cannot lead my supporters out of the party because I have been with Buhari for decades. As a member of the merger committee, I participated actively in bringing about the birth of APC. So, no one can chase me out of the party.”

MALAMI ABUBAKAR: FORMER CPC LEGAL ADVISER

Malami Abubakar 2

Abubakar Malami, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), was born in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state, where he was once state counsel and magistrate. He taught law at the Usman Dan Fodio University before settling into private legal practice. He was national legal adviser for CPC.

Malami attempted to contest the Kebbi state governorship election in 2015, but he lost the APC ticket to Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who defected to the APC from PDP just one week before the primary.

HADI SIRIKA: CONVINCED BUHARI TO RUN

Hadi Sirika

Short-lived as CPC was, Sirika,  a former pilot, was one of its few shinning lights. In 2011, he won an election to represent Katsina north senatorial district under the platform of CPC – a remarkable victory considering that only five other members of the party made it to the national assembly. During his time at the senate, he was vice-chairman of the committee on millennium development goals. He was also a member of the senate committee on aviation.

As a part of the second committee, Sirikia consistently criticised Ex-president Jonathan’s understanding of national issues, and he also had Buhari’s trust – so much that he was selected as a member of the then president-elect’s transition committee after the March 28 presidential election. No surprise about his selection, as Sirika was one of the northern elders who convinced Buhari to run one more time in 2015 rather than stick with his original plan to make the 2011 election his last political contest.

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1 Comment

  1. Datti
    Datti October 02, 15:46

    Speculations, no one outside those involved knows those on the list.

    Reply to this comment

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