There are speculations that President Muhammadu Buhari may soon effect a cabinet reshuffle, as a result, panic has overshadowed ministers and top aides, who have resorted to lobbying to retain their jobs.
The President who returned to the country last Friday, after almost two months of medical vacation in the United Kingdom is expected to resume duties today.
The news making round suggest that in order to inject fresh blood into government as well as to boost peoples’ confidence, the Buhari government may now rejig the cabinet, which could affect nothing less than 10 ministers and heads of some government agencies. In the exercise, some ministers will be dropped, while others will swap positions. This is coming barely four months after the Presidency reportedly hinted the Senate of a likely cabinet shake-up, towards the end of last year.
Sources revealed that since the plan for cabinet change filtered into town, ministers and top aides, afraid of losing their jobs, had been meeting those close to two governors in the North believed to be close to President Buhari, members of the president’s kitchen cabinet and close associates, for them to put in words for their retention. It was gathered that the ministers have made phone calls, visited those they think could help them as well as sent emissaries.
Although the Presidency has not officially confirmed any planned cabinet change, sources revealed that some of the ministers and aides are not taking the speculations lightly and, therefore, making efforts, in order not to be caught unawares.
It is believed that Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who was in acting capacity while Buhari was away on medical vacation would have inputs in the new cabinet due to his experience with the ministers as Acting President. Following the belief that Osinbajo will make inputs in the reshuffle, ministers are also lobbying his associates. At present, there are two vacancies in the Buhari cabinet, following the death of Barrister James Ocholi, the late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, in March 2016 and the resignation of the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, who is now Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.