About the biggest shock in the list of ministerial nominees released by President Muhammadu Buhari during the week was the missing name of the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode. Until the list was released early in the week, it looked as sure as daybreak that Ambode would be one of the first names on it.
Buhari’s visit to Lagos on Ambode’s promptings earlier in the year to commission some projects had been touted by many as all that was needed to confirm the bond between the President and the former governor of Lagos State.
His political lieutenants also did little to alter that belief as they were said to have boasted at every turn before the ministerial list was released that Ambode was Abuja bound after failing to secure the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for a second shot at the governorship seat.
Their confidence in this regard was said to have been boosted by the fact that earlier rumour that President Buhari was contemplating appointing Ambode as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ended in the realm of speculation, hence they expected him to be compensated with a ministerial appointment.
The former Lagos State governor’s undoing, according to Sentry’s findings, was the favour that the former senator representing Lagos East, Senator Olorunnibe Mamora found with President Buhari and the leadership of APC in Lagos State. Both were said to have been impressed with the loyalty he has demonstrated over time and the calm mien with which he accepted his fate in 2015 after losing the senatorial ticket without being compensated with another appointment.
“What many people did not understand is that Buhari has always felt that he owed Mamora something after the calm manner he accepted party’s decision over his seat at the Senate. Added to this was the fact that the mood of the party in Lagos clearly did not favour Ambode,” a source said.