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I won’t appoint ‘strangers’ into my cabinet this time – Buhari

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…admits he’s under tremendous pressure to produce ministerial list

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday admitted being under pressure to present the list of ministerial nominees to the National Assembly.

He spoke last night over dinner with the leadership of the National Assembly.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan and House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila were at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to a source at the dinner, the President said he was under tremendous pressure to release the list.

He reportedly said that many of the ministers he appointed in his first tenure were not known to him personally.

The President was said to have expressed his plan “to appoint those he knows, have confidence in and that have the capacity to deliver”.

President Buhari was quoted as saying: “Many at this dinner meeting are saying they want to see the list of the proposed cabinet so that they can go on leave peacefully.

“I’m very much aware about it; I’m under tremendous pressure on it. But the last cabinet, which I headed, most of them, the majority of them I didn’t know them. I had to accept the names and recommendations from the party and other individuals.

“I worked with them for three and half years at least – meeting twice or two weeks in a month. So I know them.

“But, this time around I’m going to be quite me – me in the sense that I will pick people I personally know.”

Addressing reporters after the dinner, Lawan said the Senate was yet to receive the list from the President.

According to him, ministerial lists are not submitted at dinners.

Lawan, who was quoted as saying that the list will be out this week, denied saying so.

When asked if he was now in possession of the ministerial list, he said: “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.”

Reminded that he promised Nigerians that the list will 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 is 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.” he added

Others at the dinner were: All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole; Senators Abdullahi Yahaya (Majority Leader); Ajayi Boroffice (Deputy Leader); Orji Uzor Kalu (Chief Whip) and Sabi Abdullahi (Deputy Chief Whip).

The House of Representatives leaders were: Emmanuel Bwacha (Deputy Minority Leader);  Phillip Aduda (Minority Whip), Alhassan Ado-Doguwa (Majority Leader); Ndudi Elumelu (Minority Leader); Toby Okechukwu (Deputy Minority Leader).

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, was also at the dinner.

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