APC rift partly delaying ministerial listâ€“Odigie-OyegunBy BOBRICKY 10:17 Mon, 15 Jun 2015 Comments
The ongoing crisis among leading figures within the All Progressives Congress, which emanated from the just concluded National Assembly leadership elections, may be partly responsible for the delay in the presentation of President Muhammadu Buhariâ€™s ministerial list.
National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, gave this hint in an interview with newsmen at the partyâ€™s headquarters, Abuja, on Monday.
The party chairman said the APC was working assiduously to ensure that the differences among its legislators were quickly resolved in the interest of the nation.
He explained that the unification of its members, in both chambers of the National Assembly, under the existing realities, remains the partyâ€™s first priority.
Odigie-Oyegun said, â€œAll other things will have to wait.
This is because, if for instance, the president says he wants to present his list of ministerial nominees to the Senate, we donâ€™t want a situation whereby the senate will be divided.
â€œSo we are trying to sort that out; it is our number one priority. We are happy that we are arriving at amicable settlement of the situation; this one cannot wait for long. It has to be immediate.â€
He, however, explained that while the party was working with the President to build a formidable team comprising of tested politicians and technocrats, the decision to appoint ministers and presidential aides was entirely the prerogative of the President.
The party chairman said this amidst speculations that the Secretary to the Borno State Government, Ambassador Babba Ahmed Jidda, and former National Chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, were frontrunners for the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Odigie-Oyegun dismissed insinuations that the there is a rift between the party and the President over the ministerial list.
He said, â€œThere is absolutely no dispute between the party and the president. We agreed that we shall use all manner of people: politicians, technocrats, all manner of people, even if not politicians, who can deliver and who subscribe passionately to the agenda of the president, to move this country forward, irrespective of where the people come from; irrespective of whether the person is a card-carrying member of the party.
â€œWhat is important is the qualification of the person and the ability of the person to deliver on the ideas of Mr. President.â€
Speaking further he said, â€œWhat we are interested in is the ability of the people to bring up the ideas that will help Mr. President achieve the set objectives and the ability to deliver on what the President wants.
â€œSecondly, this (appointment) is an executive function and the President has the right to consult as widely as possible. This means he might pick people within the party; people outside the party.
â€œIt is a prerogative the President should exercise and we cannot question that. We are quite happy about the way he is proceeding.â€
The former Edo State governor also counted himself out of the race for the office of the SGF or any other position other than his current position as national chairman of the APC.
According to him, he has not solicited for any position other than the national chairmanship of the APC, neither has anybody approached him on the issue.
Odigie-Oyegun said, â€œOn this issue of SGF, I will respond to you just in case, because I donâ€™t want to offend anybody but I will say this quite definitely.
â€œI have not, in anyway, in capital letters and underlined, solicited for any position other than the national chairmanship of APC. I think I am clear enough, isnâ€™t it?
And nobody has approached me on that he is considering me either on that position or another.â€
The APC chairman also appealed to Nigerians to exercise patience with President Buhari as he picks his team because, he is naturally a very careful person who wants to be sure that the people he appoints are those who share his passion about the country.
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