After weeks of consultation and character evaluation, President-elect General Muhammadu Buhari has finally short-listed 18 persons across Nigeria’s six geo political zones, who will make up his transition committee ahead of the May 29 handover date.
In a related development, President Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari met on Friday for the second time this month behind closed doors at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Also, the National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, still struggling with the reality of the loss of his party in the Presidential election, attributed the defeat to the “political tsunami that swept across the northern part of the country which was too much for the PDP to withstand.”
Although the transition committee to be headed by Malam Ahmed Joda will be made up of three persons from each of the six geo-political zones, sources said the South-west however has more representation (four persons) indicating the weight and influence of its leader in the zone, Senator Bola Tinubu.
The sources further hinted that apart from Buhari who decided the choice of persons selected across the zones, Tinubu also had a major and significant input in the list, in addition to also exceeding the regional quota of three persons per zone.
The committee which, according to sources, will be inaugurated on Monday or sometime next week comes with terms of reference for members, chief of which is liaising with members of the committee put together by the Jonathan administration for smooth handover.
Apart from Joda, who has been selected as the chairman and Dr. Doyin Salami as Vice-chairman, the committee also has Malam Adamu Adamu as its secretary.
Other members of the committee according to an exclusive document made available to THISDAY are Mr. Boss Mustapha, Malam Muhammad Hayatuddin, Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN), Dr. Tam David West, Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Chief John Oyegun.
Also on the list are Mr. Festus Odimegwu, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Mrs. Nike Aboderin, Mr. Wale Edun, Mrs. Bola Adesola, Barrister Solomon Dalong, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Senator Hadi Sirika and Brig-General Lawal Jafaru Isa.
Aside liaising with government’s committee, the terms of reference also includes studying and working on the handover notes preparatory to May 29.
Other terms, THISDAY learnt, include designing the blueprint that would assist the Buhari government take off smoothly with a clear understanding of the challenges at hand.
Responding to the calibre of persons likely to make up his transition committee a few weeks ago, Buhari told THISDAY in an interview: “We have started discussing about it. Personally, I will make sure that it is not too big because if it is big, they will start thinking of how to influence the choice of ministers either for themselves or those they want to be ministers.
“But my hope and my idea is to get knowledgeable and experienced technocrats that are really patriotic to study the handing over notes by ministries and make recommendations. I want them to be completely detached people who are patriotic Nigerians; who are knowledgeable and experienced.”