President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday forwarded a list of 12 ministerial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation, with former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Mohammed Gusau (rtd), leading the pack. He may emerge the new defence minister to replace Dr. Haliru Mohammed who left about 18 months ago.
Gusau, from  Zamfara State, served in the Obasanjo administration and briefly  also in Jonathan’s government in 2010. It is assumed that Gusua will lead a war team which Jonathan began assembling last week with the appointment of new Chief of Defence Staff and service chiefs.
Daily Sun gathered that “in order to avoid leakage, the ministerial list got to the Senate yesterday. As at Monday evening, our offices were still open to receive the executive communication but we were disappointed. The letter came today (yesterday) and was taken straight to the Senate President’s office.”
Other nominees are Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Lagos State, Mr. Boni Haruna, Adamawa State and Amb. Aminu Wali from Kano State.
Others are Hon. Mohammed Wakil, Borno State, Alhaji Abduljelili Oyewale Adesiyan, Osun State, Hadjia  Jamila Salik, Kano, Mrs. Akon Etim Eyakenyi, Akwa Ibom, Lawrencia Labaran Mallam, Kaduna State, Dr. T.W. Dangogo, Rivers State, Asabe Asmau Ahmed, Niger State as well as  Dr. Khaliru Alhassan.
The President reiterated in his letter to the Senate that the list was in accordance with Section 147 (2) of the Constitution as amended,
Senate President David Mark said that copies of their curriculum vitae were attached, adding, “it is my hope that this exercise will receive the usual kind expeditious consideration of the Distinguished Members of the Senate of the Federal Republic. Also forwarded for confirmation were names of newly-appointed service chiefs.
They are Air Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS); Major-General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, Chief of Naval Staff as well as Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosun, Chief of Air Staff.
In a January 20 letter addressed to Mark, President Jonathan said the requests were in compliance with the provisions of Sections 147(2) of the Constitution and 18(1) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A.20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, respectively.
He urged the Senate to expedite action on the confirmation of the service chiefs. It was, however, gathered that the service chiefs would not be screened at plenary. “This is a security issue and as usual, we take them behind closed doors.”
Meanwhile, Senate spokesman Enyinnaya Abaribe, has dismissed reports that the Senate is tensed over planned defections of some members from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
“No tension in Senate.  Whatever comes to us on the floor of the Senate will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.
Ministerial nominees:
• Senator Musiliu Obanikoro –  Lagos
• Hon Mohammed Wakil – Borno
• Alh Abduljelili Oyewale Adesiyan – Osun
• Ambassador Aminu Wali – Kano
• Hadjia Jamilia Salik – Kano
• Mrs. Akon Etim Eyakenyi – Akwa Ibom
• Lawrencia Labaran Mallam – Kaduna
• Dr. T. W. Danagogo – Rivers
• Asabe Asmau Ahmed – Niger
• General Aliu Gusau Mohammed (retd) – Zamfara
• Mr. Boni Haruna – Adamawa
• Dr. Khaliru Alhassan – Sokoto