A former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande, is set to replace Mamman Daura as the head of the kitchen cabinet for the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, when sworn-in on May 29. Akande, a political associate of the President-elect, was the Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in 2013, when the party was formed.
He was elected governor of Osun State in 1999, the same time President-elect, Tinubu was elected governor of Lagos State. He, however, served for one term – 1999-2003 as he could not secure his re- election in 2003. Since 1999, every President had come with his kitchen cabinet, known as Cabals.
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, had a kitchen cabinet headed by late Chief Tony Anenih. Among those in the kitchen cabinet of Obasanjo’s Presidency was Senator Andy Uba. Also in the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s Presidency, the head of the kitchen cabinet (Cabal) was his wife, Turai Yar’Adua. Others in the cabinet were Senator Abba Aji, former Minister of Agriculture; Abba Sayyadi Ruma, former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, among others. For former President Goodluck Jonathan, Elder Statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, was the head of the kitchen cabinet in the Presidency. With him were: former Minister of Petroleum, Deziani Allison-Madueke; the late Oronto Douglas, Amb. Godknows Igali, HRH, King Amalate Johnnie Turner, Patience Jonathan and others. The incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari has Mamman Daura as the head of his Kitchen Cabinet. Others in the cabal are: the Late Abba Kyari, his former Chief of Staff; Mohammed Bello, the Minister of FCT; the Late Alhaji Ismaila Funtua, Amb. Babagana Kingibe and Minister Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Members of the kitchen cabinet are the confidants of the President, who help the President to take decisions outside the Federal Executive Council (FEC). To a large extent also, they help to determine who gets what in the government as contracts, appointments or/and democratic dividends. The wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, had accused Buhari’s Kitchen Cabinet of hijacking the government of her husband in the first term. A source at the APC National Secretariat revealed that Chief Bisi Akande would likely move into Aso Villa as the head of Tinubu-led administration’s Kitchen Cabinet. He said others that would be part of the cabal are: former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba; Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje and Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. Our source said: “You know that Tinubu calls the former Governor of Osun State, Baba Akande often. He has trust in him more than any other of his political associates. “People have started visiting the APC Chieftain in his house or anywhere they see him. Baba Akande (Baba Awon Omo kekere) ‘Father of the little children’, has always been with the President-elect through thick and thin. “His position as the head of the President’s kitchen cabinet would help the party, (APC) immensely as he would also act unofficially as political adviser to the President. Baba Akande would be deferred to by many as he is a partisan politician.”