President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly submitted a list of 36 ministerial nominees to the Department of State Services (DSS) for screening.
The Punch reported on Wednesday, September 9, that at least 20 of the candidates had already been vetted by the agency.
The screening procedure reportedly involves career background check and examination of records with anti-corruption and security bodies.
Although the names of the nominees are yet to be provided, a corresponded said the it includes mainly those who had worked with President Buhari when he served in the military and was the chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund.
When contacted, the presidency however gave a sketchy reply to the question whether the nominees list had been directed to the DSS.
Buhari’s media aide Femi Adesina said:
“Security screening is naturally a behind-the-scenes matter, thanks.”
One of the All Progressives Congress chieftains who pleaded for anonymity explained:
“The truth is that the President is someone who believes in due process.
“His choice of Daura (Lawal Daura), a member of the old guard, as the DG DSS should tell you something; even those contacted for screening know that any leak of information traced to them could ruin their chances.”
It should be recalled that Buhari has several times stated he will appoint ministers in September. This followed criticism by Nigerians that after 100 days in office he had still failed to name cabinet.
Speaking last Monday in Ghana the president referred to his previous pledge saying:
“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office… “After I was sworn-in, I said I will have my cabinet in September. I expect that Nigerians should ask me questions after the 30th of September if I do not do so.”
Later on, in his interview with BBC Hausa, Buhari stated categorically:
“I said within this month. Therefore, I still have three weeks.”
Meanwhile APC national leader Bola Tinubu yesterday addressed journalists after a closed-door meeting with Buhari. Regarding the cabinet issue, he lamented over the pressure put by some adding they could not afford making mistakes by rushing things.