FURTHER details have emerged as to the true reasons the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has not released the list of ministers expected to serve in the administration for vetting by relevant security agencies.
The Department of State Services (DSS) plays a key role in the screening of appointees, especially ministerial and ambassadorial nominees, but sources said in Abuja that the decision to delay the list was partly due to the fact that the president did not want to release the names to the former Director General of DSS, Mr Ita Ekpeyong.
The bad blood generated between the DSS and the campaign organisation of General Muhammadu Buhari had informed the procurement of a private security organisation by the campaign team, in place of DSS operatives.
It was gathered that the Buhari team had carried the animosity over into governance and had signposted Ekpeyong and the DSS as an enemy.
It was further gathered that while media reports were indicating that the president would hit the ground running upon his swearing-in, the DSS had constituted a team to vet the ministerial list immediately it was made available by the president.
But the organisation, under Ekpeyong, had to disband the team when nothing was forthcoming, it was gathered.
Sources in the administration said Buhari did not want the DSS under Ekpeyong to handle his list of ministers, a carryover from the bad blood of the presidential campaign period.
Ekpeyong was, last week, relieved of his position in what was seen as the first of the security chiefs to be so axed by the administration.
It was gathered though the president was till compiling names of his ministerial nominees, hatred for the DSS under Ekpeyong was responsible for the delay in releasing the ministerial list by the Buhari-led administration.
Sources in government said that while the president was said to have compiled a list containing some of the names of his would-be ministers all along, he refused to make it available to the DSS, which ordinarily carries out some vetting before the screening by the Senate.
A source in the polity said the president could make available the ministerial list to the DSS any moment from now, following the resumption of Lawan Daura as the Director General of the Service.
The Senate, it is noted, will not commence screening of appointees whose curriculum vitae is not accompanied by security reports from the DSS.
It was also gathered that the misgivings between the administration and the DSS eventually consumed the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Abdurahman Mani, who was, last week, relieved of his position.
Sources said Mani’s alleged closeness to Ekpeyong and the service’s former spokesperson, Marylyn Ogar, might have also cost him the job.
Mani, hitherto a close ally of Buhari, whom he had served in the last four years, was promoted by the DSS on the promptings of the president when he became president-elect.
It was learnt that the DSS under Ekpeyong had presented possible names to Buhari as his CSO, but that the president rejected the names and opted for Mani.
When he was, however, told the Mani was not up to the rank of CSO to the President, he asked the Service to promote him so he could do the job.
Sources, therefore, said it was curious to see the same Buhari order the cancellation of the promotion and transfer of Mani out of the Presidential Villa.