Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria petroleum minister is said to be under intense pressure to contest for the governor of oil-rich Delta State.
One of Nigeria’s leading national dailies, The Nation Newspaper reported the billionaire oil minister is in the list of the most respected Buhari men being encouraged from Aso Villa to contest the governorship of their respective states.
According to The Nation Newspaper, “Kachikwu, is, according to sources, one of the most respected Buhari men being encouraged from Aso Villa to contest the governorship in their states.
As former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and now Minister of State for the strategic ministry, Kachukwu is considered experienced enough and powerful enough to make impact. His international exposure as President of OPEC is considered an added advantage.
These apart, sources said the minister has not done much to confirm interest in the governorship race in 2019. “He does not have visible and tangible political structure at the local government level to back up the so-called powerful support,” the source said.
Although, speculations are rife that the billionaire minister could fall victim to political fraudsters by his bid, it would interest many a pundit that Ibe is a shrewd individual; a pragmatist who never attempts extravagant spending of any kind. He is very wary of politicians seeking to rip him off and fleece him of his hard-earned money while they make empty promises to him.
Feelers are that Odogwu as he is fondly called, is being very cautious and wary of political kingmakers of Delta State who may not be favourably disposed to his candidacy. And he needs not to be told that Nigerian politics goes beyond the grandiose rhetoric and almost impracticable theory of boardrooms.
The Nation investigation shows that Buhari’s henchmen who have made concrete moves to back up their governorship ambitions include the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali from Zamfara State, Obong Umana Umana from Akwa Ibom State, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu from Delta State, Nyerere Chinenye Anyim from Abia State and Marcus Gundiri from Adamawa State.
Others are Suleiman Hassan, the Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing; Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communication; Aisha Alhassan, Women Affairs Minister; Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development; Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President; Dakuku Peterside from Rivers State and Isima Ekere, the Managing Director of NDDC. While most of these aspirants are no longer hiding their quests to contest the 2019 governorship elections, we gathered that many other close associates of the president are still consulting stakeholders and may soon join the race. A source at the presidency said Mr. President’s associates interested in governing their states are currently encouraged as it is seen as a good way of campaigning for Buhari’s re-election. “We believe these are the right crop of leaders that share the vision of Mr. President. If we encourage them to become governors in their states, the anti-corruption policy of Buhari will become more nationwide,” the Presidency source said.