Until President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died on May 5, 2010, these men wielded enormous influence and powers. As members of the late president’s inner cabinet, they practically dictate the pace, pulse and policy direction of government.

The change of baton following the death of their boss, however, forced them to recoil into their anonymous cocoon. Dr. Sayydi Abba Ruma within the cabinet and in government circles, Ruma was acknowledged as a ‘super minister’ who had the ears of the president.

As the Minister in charge of the strategic Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Ruma was alleged to be the ‘go to’ man for any top government official desirous of fixing any knotty issue with the president. Also, Dr. Taminu Yakubu from Katsina State like Yar’Adua and Ruma, Taminu served in the cabinet as the President’s Chief Economic Adviser. A doctorate degree holder in Economics, Taminu was also a member of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT).

There is also Dr. Mansur Muhtar, who held the position of the Minister of Finance. An indigene of Kano, Muhtar was alleged to be one of the closest aides and allies of the late president whose words in the seat of government carry immeasurable weight. The list of the influential kitchen cabinet is not complete without the mention of Mr. Micheal Aondoaka, the Benue State-born former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. Two other men who had the ears of the late president were his Aide-De-Camp (ADC), Col. Mustapha Onoyiveta, an Infantry army officer from Delta State and Yusuf Tilde, the Chief Security Officer (CSO).

Outside government, the man said to be the late president’s closest friend and associate was Alhaji Dahiru Mangal, a wealthy businessman from Katsina State. Where are these men now?