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Retired Brigadier General Bitrus Boka Ushe is presently undergoing security screening by the State Security Service preparatory to his nomination by President Goodluck Jonathan as a minister from Kebbi State, Daily Trust learnt from security and political sources in Abuja yesterday.
Ushe retired from the Army seven years ago.
Daily Trust learnt that President Jonathan, who has been shopping around for a replacement for the former Defence Minister Dr. Bello Halliru Mohammed, also has to fill a vacancy from Kebbi State, which has no representative in the federal cabinet following Mohammed’s sacking.
Informed sources said after lengthy caucus meetings by Kebbi State PDP leaders in Birnin Kebbi and Abuja, three names were forwarded to the President by Governor Sa’idu Nasamu Dakingari.
They include the former ACN governorship candidate Barrister Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, who returned to PDP just before last March’s rerun governorship election in the state.
The other two nominees were former Water Resources Minister and defunct United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) national chairman Alhaji Isa Mohammed and retired Federal permanent secretary Alhaji Bello Usman Maitambari.
However, the sources said, President Jonathan indicated that he wanted a nominee from Kebbi State “with military experience.”
Kebbi State, especially its minority Zuru Emirate, has many such serving and retired military officers.
Brigadier Ushe was reportedly nominated by Senator Mohamed Magoro, himself a retired Major General who represents Kebbi South district in the Senate.
The nomination of Ushe, who lives in Kaduna, has already raised eyebrows among PDP leaders in the state because he is not a politician. The constitution requires a ministerial nominee to have the same qualifications required for election to the House of Representatives, and that includes party membership.
Since the removal of Mohammed as Defence Minister last month, several names of potential replacements have been mentioned. They include former National Security Adviser retired General Aliyu Gusau and a former military governor, retired Col. Dangiwa Umar.
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