President Muhammadu Buhari is contemplating rejigging his cabinet in a bid to bolster his chances of succeeding at the 2019 presidential polls, according to media reports.
It is not exactly clear how soon the President would ring the changes, but a source in the presidency said that it could happen at Friday’s emergency meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), or it could be delayed for a few weeks.
The emergency FEC meeting was primarily convened for approval for the 2019 Appropriation Bill, with the government hoping to present the budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly next week.
But the source said that a cabinet reshuffle at a time like this, with elections approaching, should be no surprise.
“The President is considering dropping ministers with political baggage, and those contesting, and is also hoping to strengthen his campaign spread,” he said.
Since becoming President in May 2015, Buhari hasn’t altered his cabinet, the members of which he waited six months before announcing.
Aisha Alhassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba, is the most recent Minister to reluctantly bow out of office. She quit in acrimonious circumstances as Minister of Women Affairs in late September, after she was disqualified from contesting the Taraba State governorship election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
That was two weeks after Kemi Adeosun, then the Minister of Finance, belatedly resigned following months of sustained public pressure after it was exposed that she did not undergo the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Kayode Fayemi, then Minister of Solid Minerals Development, left in May to contest the Ekiti State governorship election, which he won — he was sworn in in October — while Amina Mohammed resigned as Minister of Environment in February 2017 after she was appointed United Nations Deputy Secretary General.