As controversies trailing the release of list of Ministers continue, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night admitted being under tremendous pressure to release the ministerial list and constitute his cabinet.
The President speaking with Leadership of the National Assembly led by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at a dinner, also used the opportunity to explain reasons for the delays in constituting his cabinet, saying he wants to avoid the mistakes of 2015, where he did not know most of the Ministers personally before appointing them
According to him, in his first tenure, most of the ministers he appointed were not known to him, but this time around he wants to appoint those he knows, have confidence in and have the capacity to deliver.
The President who did not disclose those putting him “under pressures” also did not say how soon he would be constituting his cabinet.
This revelation is coming against the backdrop of uneasy calm amongst major players in the economy, especially the investors and economic analysts who believe that the delay is having negative effects on investment decisions.
This is just as the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan denied saying that the Senate would get the Ministerial list this week.
Speaking with State House Correspondents at the end of the dinner which ended at about 9:50pm, Lawan, when asked if he was now has the ministerial list saying, “list are not submitted at dinners”
“Well, I came for a dinner and the process of receiving list is not at dinners. That is all I have to say about this.”
When reminded that he promised Nigerians that the list would get to the Senate this week he said: “I never did. Let me take this opportunity to correct that. A senator raised a Point of Order under personal explanation and he said we should be sent the list of ministers by the executive arm of government. And in my response, I said the executive was working so hard to ensure that the list of Nigerians that will help this Administration work is going to be constituted, we could even receive it this week.
“Could is conditional and I will urge everybody here to report it as it is.”
Those who attended the dinner included Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Others were the principal officers, including Senator Abdullahi Yahaya – Majority Leader, Senator Ajayi Borofice – Deputy Leader, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu – Chief Whip, and Senator Sabi Abdullahi – Deputy Chief Whip.
They also included Emmanuel Bwacha, Phillip Aduda- Minority Whip, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Ndudi Godwin Elumelu – Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu – Deputy Minority Leader.
Also at the dinner were the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), Ita Enang, at whose instance the dinner was initiated.