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· Aliko Dangote offered Buhari’s daughter Fatima for Marriage
· Northern cabal looks beyond Buhari
With President Muhammadu Buhari barely two years in of­fice, members of his kitchen cabinet, who have constituted themselves into a cabal, are al­ready looking for his successor.
Their actions are prompt­ed by growing questions over alleged governance deficits of President Buhari’s tenure.
The AUTHORITY learnt that members of the cabal run­ning Aso Rock are no longer comfortable with Buhari’s per­formance and are worried that the North could lose the Pres­idency in 2019 if nothing was urgently done.
Leading members of the ca­bal are largely from Adamawa, Borno and Katsina States.
Sources also confirmed to The AUTHORITY that the high-stake game is borne out of the deep knowledge of the Pres­ident’s health, which has fuelled speculations that Buhari may not run for a second term on health grounds.
Age is also not on his side. Born on December 17, 1942, President Buhari would be close to 77 years old by 2019.
Consequently, the North, which fought tooth and nail to re­trieve power from the South, has started looking beyond Buhari.
The AUTHORITY fur­ther gathered that Africa’s rich­est man Aliko Dangote, who like the United States President-elect, Donald Trump, lacks any prior experience in government, has been fingered by the cabal as a worthy replacement for Buha­ri, come 2019.
To give more teeth to this quirky plot, some match-mak­ing by the cabal between Dangote and Buhari’s daughter, Fatima, was fine-tuned but ran into stormy waters.
Dangote, according to sourc­es, was already warming up for the marriage and for a shot at the Presidency.
But Fatima, who, like her stepmother Aisha Buhari, has scant regard for the cabal’s ar­rowhead, “out-rightly” re­jected the choice of Dangote.
She equally rejected the per­suasive pressure of another influ­ential member of the infamous cabal.
The AUTHORITY further learned that as 2017 draws near and in connection with crowning a successor to Buhari, key politi­cal realignments are expected to start taking shape.
A serving minister in the Bu­hari administration had recently shown how fluid the situation is by reportedly sending a text mes­sage to a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), asking about a “post-Buhari” scenario.
Today, Buhari has become very unpopular in the North due to the inability of his government to deliver governance that direct­ly impacts the people.
On the other hand, the na­ture of the appointments he has made, defined by lack of consul­tation and inclusiveness, has al­ienated many.
The wife of the president had recently in a British Broadcast­ing Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service interview lamented that most officials of the government are not known to the President and the first family, adding that they are usurpers who did noth­ing to help the All Progressives Congress (APC) struggle in 2015.
The usurpers she was refer­ring to in that controversial in­terview are the core members of the cabal that call the shots in Aso Rock, notwithstanding Buhari’s claims to the contrary.
The core four-member pres­idency cabal under reference re­portedly didn’t vote in 2015 be­cause they didn’t register to vote.
As the opposition carefully watches the unfolding develop­ment and fine-tunes its plot, the emerging poser is how the cabal hopes to pull off the audacious gamble.
This remains a subject of speculation considering that they lack political skills and are very unpopular.
The AUTHORITY recalls that in her famous interview, Ai­sha Buhari, when asked to name those who had hijacked the gov­ernment, declared: “You will know them if you watch televi­sion.”
One of the key cabal arrow­heads has to-date allegedly cor­nered more than N5 billion school furniture contracts from Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto States.
The Kaduna State contract has however been terminat­ed over “non-performance” by Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who unilaterally awarded it to Kadu­na Furniture and Construction Company (KFCC) without due process.
The initial sum for the Ka­duna furniture contract was N1 billion.
El-Rufai has never hidden the fact that his ultimate goal is the presidency. He has consist­ently told Kaduna State people that he is a one-term governor. The bad blood between a key member of the cabal, the chair­man of KFCC and El-Rufai, is re­portedly linked to the cabal of­fering the presidency to Dangote.
Sources further revealed that it was the last gasp effort to stop the Dangote-Fatima wedding using the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Of­fences Commission (ICPC) that caused the anti-corruption agen­cy’s chairman to be suspended from office before Buhari inter­vened.
The cabal had sacked the ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, without the President’s knowl­edge – because he did not play ball – over claims that his tenure had expired.
Ekpo was reportedly or­dered by the cabal to arrest Gim­ba Kumo, a former managing di­rector of the Federal Mortgage Bank.
Similar efforts with the Na­tional Security Adviser (NSA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) re­portedly failed.
But the cabal never gave up, hence the reports in the media about the arrest of Kumo.
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