Kayode Fayemi, the immediate past governor of Ekiti State has begun to lobby for appointment in the cabinet of the ‘President-elect’, Bola Tinubu, SaharaReporters has learnt.
The former governor, according to multiple sources is ‘hustling’ to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Following his victory in the February 25 presidential poll, Tinubu is expected to be sworn in as president on May 29, 2023, to succeed Muammadu Buhari who is finishing his second term in office.
He is however expected to send the list of his ministers to the National Assembly within 60 days of his inauguration.
Buhari recently signed a bill that requires the president and governors to submit the names of persons nominated as ministers or commissioners within 60 days of taking the oath of office for confirmation by the Senate or state house of assembly.
“Kayode Fayemi has joined others to start lobbying for appointment in Tinubu’s administration. He is hustling to become the foreign affairs minister.
“The former governor is leaving no stone unturned to actualise his ambition to be part of the federal cabinet,” an APC chieftain told SaharaReporters.
The relationship between Tinubu and Fayemi dates back to the mid 90s during the struggle for democracy in Nigeria.
In 2007, Fayemi was Tinubu’s anointed candidate for the governorship election in Ekiti.
However, he lost the election to Governor Segun Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) amid widespread reports of vote-rigging.
Fayemi challenged the results in court, backed by a legal team, supported by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Tinubu.
He eventually became governor in 2010 but his relationship with Tinubu began to deteriorate a few years later.
In 2021, Fayemi was among the governors accused of masterminding the sacking of APC chairman, Adams Oshiomole, seen as being subservient to Tinubu and backing his presidential ambition.
The former governor is one of the aspirants who stepped down for Tinubu during the APC presidential primary election in 2022.
Earlier, SaharaReporters reported how some past governors and allies of the ‘President-elect’ were scheming to be part of Tinubu’s cabinet.
“Kano Governor Ganduje wants to be the Federal Capital Territory minister, El-Rufai wants the NSA (National Security Adviser) position, Fashola and Gbajabiamila want the Chief of Staff position.
“Wale Edun wants to be the Minister of Finance while Governor Bagudu wants to be the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” a source had said.
When Tinubu was the Lagos governor between 1999 and 2007, Edun held the position of commissioner for finance in the state.
Kaduna State under El-Rufai has been one of the most terrorised states in the country, with bandits killing, kidnapping and wreaking all forms of havoc.
Meanwhile, over the years, Bagudu has been in the news for the wrong reasons, one of which was connected to moves by the US to help Nigeria repatriate millions of dollars from the British Island of Jersey.
The funds were part of the billions of dollars traced to Sani Abacha, the late military dictator who ruled Nigeria from November 1993 till his sudden death in June 1998, and his associates.
Shortly after the agreement was signed in the US, Bloomberg wire service reported that officials of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) kicked against plans by the Nigerian government to return $100 million to Bagudu from the Abacha loot.
The DoJ said in a February 3, 2020 statement that the Kebbi governor was part of a network controlled by Abacha that “embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria”.
Bagudu was said to have created anonymous companies in the British Virgin Islands and other financial havens.
His offshore network system relied on a sprawling global industry of bankers, investment portfolio managers and go-betweens who worked together to protect his stolen wealth.
He also reportedly used anonymous companies, investment trusts and other paper entities to create complex structures to disguise the origins of Abacha’s dirty money.