Indications emerging from Aso Rock are that the Cabal have settled on the appointment of Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin (member of the House of Representatives representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State) as the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services.
Ahead of 2023, the Cabal have embarked on an elaborate plan to ensure that all the sensitive government positions are retained by loyalists who will stand by the course they have charted for the office of the president.
Mr Fowler who is perhaps one of the best qualified hands in tax administration is seen as either being too professional or loyal to an opposing power bloc as to render him untenable for the purpose.
It will be recalled that the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari had issued a memo on reduced tax collection that was subsequently and prominently leaked to the media.
This is seen as part of the emerging power play as members of the yet to be sworn-in cabinet are being dragged into the web of intrigues surrounding the tussle.
Sources have it that pledging allegiance one way or another would be crucial to the portfolio that each one would land. The more loyal, the juicer the portfolio.
It will be recalled that Jibrin was first elected into the House of Representatives under the Peoples Democratic Party – (PDP) in 2011 before decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014 where he was later re-elected in 2015.
Jibrin was the Chairman Committee on Finance in the 7th Assembly with oversight on the Federal Ministry of Finance and its Parastatals, Federal Revenue, Preparation of Revenue framework/Estimate for the Federal budgets, Sovereign Wealth Fund – SWIA, Tax Matters, Fiscal matters, Government investment in banks and Statutory Corporations and Agencies, Insurance and Insurance of Government properties and assets amongst other functions.
On September 28, 2016, the 8th House of Representatives suspended Jibrin for 180 legislative days after he blew the lid on what became famously known as budget padding—a scenario where legislators bloat the cost of budget line items in their constituencies for pecuniary gains.
But there is no direct professional competence that one can ascribe to Mr Jibrin. On the other hand, Mr Fowler has increased the tax net considerably, raising the capability of the FIRS in increasing non-oil tax.
In addition and as part of a wider plot to retain the presidency in the North, it is believed that the Cabal favours a Northerner for the position of FIRS Chair to do their bidding. Recently, the cabal has been toying with the idea of putting forward Ambassador Kingibe including trying to associate him solely with the June 12 struggle.
The ploy is to allow a current Governor from the South West play the second fiddle in the emerging chess play of high powered politics.