By Chesa Chesa
President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated his new cabinet for his second term in office as he administered the oath of office on the reappointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the 43 Ministers who are now part of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
In his remarks, the President charged the new appointees to work closely and harmoniously with fellow cabinet members as well as with the Permanent Secretaries in their respective Ministries.
He reminded them of his earlier charge to channel cabinet memos through the SGF and requests for meetings and presidential matters through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
He warned that failure to follow appropriate vertical and horizontal channels of communication in the work of the cabinet among them would be sanctioned with requisite repercussions.
In assigning portfolios for the Ministers, Buhari announced three new Ministries, namely Ministry of Police Affairs, which he had scrapped in 2015; Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs; as well as Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.
Mustpaha was first to be sworn in, followed by the Ministers in groups of fives and three. The seven female and 36 male Ministers were screened and cleared by the Senate last month.
The swearing in ceremony took place at the Aso Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Idris Wase; All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; and senior presidency officials in attendance.
It was also witnessed by family and friends of the new ministers; APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; the Chief of Defence Staff and military service chiefs, as well as the Inspector-General of Police.
Also present was the embattled Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who is being investigated over an alleged N3billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
She had been absent from public functions in the past few days, particularly the induction retreat organised for the incoming ministers in Abuja, at which she was listed as one of the resource persons.
A one-minute silence and special prayer were observed in honour of late Mr. Tijani Yusuf, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on General Duties, who died two weeks ago; before the new Ministers took a group photograph with the President.
The Ministers and their portfolios as announced by President Buhari at the ceremony are as follows: