Buhari’s ministerial list is for all-inclusive government – Oshiomhole

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, said that the 43 ministerial list submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for screening is to boost formation of an all-inclusive government.

He was reacting to the criticism that the list is based on political patronage and not credibility.
Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, he wondered how credible the people criticising the ministerial nominees are.
According to him, some of them started criticising the list before seeing it.
He also noted that President Buhari was magnanimous to have nominated up to two ministers from state that contributed less than 5% of the President’s votes in the 2019 Presidential election.
On his reaction to criticism trailing the President’s ministerial list being political patronage and not credibility, he said “Whose credibility? How credible are some of those who are talking?
“The point is that I don’t know if there is a Nigerian who knows every Nigerian. Even as I can say that I have worked for Nigerian people at all levels, as a worker in a factory, as President of the NLC, as governor of a state and now as a national chairman of a party, there are too many Nigerians I will never be able to know.
“The screening process is meant to enable those watching, it is not for nothing that it is televised, it is to enable Nigerians see who these people are.
“But you will find that people started dismissing the list even before they saw it, just like some other things that Nigerians dismiss without knowing the meaning.
“So, what you and I should insist on is that in the President’s second term, in this next level, our party, our government at the center, state and local government level must deliver. That is the entry point for every Nigerian.
“And when you talk of patronage, should we appoint…have you heard of Americans appointing Russians because they are experts to go and preside over their MDAs?
“Even in your newspapers do you invite me as APC chairman to come and write your editorial? He queried
Oshiomhole went on “Patronage can be positive or negative but if there is one man who has shown the capacity to patronize all including where he did not win election, it is President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Otherwise, where we got less than five percent, I saw two ministers coming from that state, inspite of the fact that he got less than five percent there. That speaks volumes about a large heart, to accommodate, appreciate and to have an all inclusive government.
“I am very optimistic that these ministers coming all of us working together, the party, the executive which the ministers belong and the National Assembly where we have overwhelming majority, we have what it takes to take Nigeria to the next level and the next level we are going there.” he said
He also claimed that he has provided good leadership for the party under his tenure.
According to him, Nigerians are appreciating APC better under his leadership.
Oshiomhole had taken over APC chairmanship from Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who hails from the same state, Edo.
Oshiomhole noted that APC now has more members in the National Assembly and also controlling the leadership of the two chambers.
Asked what he is doing about the turmoils going on in the party, he said “You talk about rumors, what about what you see. I am very proud to say that under my Chairmanship, our party has made tremendous progress. I am not at the mercy of fake or even disgruntled analysts. I write my own testimonials by my self in terms of what l do, how I do it and what the unbiased people say.
“Irrespective of all the speculations, for example, it was said that 17 governors were going to remove Oshiomhole, what happened? At the end , we provided leadership and had more votes. In the 2015 election, the difference between our candidate and President Jonathan then, was slightly less than three million, but this time around, we had slightly less than four million.
“I am a National Chairman, not a zonal or state chairman. So, my responsibilities include to get the APC at the national level going, including relating with the President, the ways we expect the State chapter chairmen to relate with their Governors and the local council chapter chairmen with their Local government Council chairmen.
“That is the way it works and I believe that Nigerians under my leadership appreciated APC better under my Chairmanship, as evidenced by the fact that we had more Senators, House of Representatives members this year, than before.
“For the first time since 1999, the letter of APC under my signature was read on the floors of both Chambers of the National Assembly, announcing the Principal Officers of the Party, as determined through consensus by the leadership of the party, which is why unlike 2015 where APC as a party had no say whatsoever as to who emerged as the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Principal Officers of both Chambers.
“This time around, we got six out of six. Can I do better than that, can I score more than 100%. You talk about turmoil, if this is how to be in turmoil, I want to live there.” he said
He also maintained that APC, under him, was able to uproot the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his cronies, politically.
Oshiomhole said “Remember I was saying that Saraki must be removed, people would say how would I do it? I said okay if he resists removal then we would uproot.
“We went to Kwara, we did Otoge, we uprooted Saraki and you cannot commend me for this? You know who Saraki is? If you are talking of the most smartest political player, seasoned smart guy, he is. But for every smartness he has, I have a superior smartness. At the end of the day who won?
“As a senate president, we uprooted him as senator, we uprooted his nominee for governor and senators, we put our own. Today, he doesn’t have one senator in Kwara, he doesn’t have one House of Representatives in Kwara. Everything in Kwara is APC and you can’t commend me for that?
“If you don’t, then I will be like lizard, I will praise myself if you state house correspondents don’t praise me.” he added
For the former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, to have contested Senate Presidency against Senator Ahmad Lawan, who won the seat, he said that Ndume has shown that he didn’t have the capacity to defeat the will of the party.
He said “We were all here in Abuja, don’t forget we went round the country, talked to everyone that we want senator Ahmed Lawan as our candidate. We didn’t want to have two candidates vying for the same position from our party, but you saw on that day how senator Ali Ndume insisted that he must contest against party’s position.
“He didn’t hide but he said he has a right, we didn’t denied him that right.”
According to him, the President adhered to the letter and spirit of the constitution by allowing Senator Ndume to go to the National Assembly to contest for the election.
“As you can see at the end of the day, Senator Ndume had his way to contest, but we humbled him by the poor numbers he got but he exercised his rights.
“At the end he said, I wanted to prove a point. Well he proved a point which is he is not capable of defeating the collective will of the APC family, and who held that family? Today, I am privileged to be the chairman. So these are a landmarks you should acknowledge.”
Oshiomhole went on “For once we didn’t fight on National Assembly. Who is now fighting? Look at PDP, and you refused to ask this question – PDP insisted on secret ballot while APC wanted opened ballot. PDP doesn’t want their people to stand up and be counted they wanted their people to vote secretly because they thought that our people would betray us the way they did in 2015.
“But we had worked hard on our people psyche and changed the mindset to recognize that to belong to a party is to be loyal to that party, and that loyalty goes beyond Election Day. And I believe our people bought into those arguments we gave them support beside platform, we gave them other organizational supports.
“Now who was trying to find out? For the first time in the history of democracy anywhere in the world other than Banana republic, it is now PDP that set up a panel investigate how people voted in a secret ballot.
“Why won’t you ask them why are you investigating secret ballot? One day they are going to… (God forbid) they won’t come back again. God forbid that if you go and do secret ballot and they lost election, they will go to your village and say they want to investigate. They are the ones in turmoil, they are the ones in confusion. We are waxing strong and strong.” he said
On the crisis rocking the proclamation of the Edo State House of Assembly, he said that his position on the way it was conducted in Edo State and Bauchi state, was not about him.
According to him, it was not possible to form a quorum on something that didn’t exist.
He said “Here, l spoke to you that what happened in Edo and in Bauchi are unacceptable. It is not about me. But as a Nigerian who believes in democracy, for 9 person in Edo to purport to inaugurate a House of 31 members is wrong. Go and read relevant sections of the constitution, it states clearly that a House cannot be less than 24 and not more than 40 members. 11 people in Bauchi where you have 31 members.
“It is not about me, not about you. I ask, can you form a quorum of something that does not exist. All my life, l have run associations, I could say, for instance, when I was leader of the NLC, we had a quorum of National Executive Council of the NLC, now when that quorum had not been formed, I could not say we had formed a quorum. So, you cannot form a quorum of the House of Assembly, when it has not been inaugurated. It is about the system.
“If I condemned Bauchi and I do so in the strongest terms, I cannot condemn less, what happened in Edo State. It just shows that truth has no political affiliation.
“In the security meeting we have had with some of the Senators, Governors and law makers, it was agreed that when it comes to proclamations, you do not only write a Proclamation letter, but you ensure that it is communicated to all those concerned and you give them ample time so that wherever they are, they can come in.” he said
On why he met with President Buhari, he said “I am the chairman of the party and the President’s not only the President of Nigeria but also the leader of the APC. So, I have a duty to brief him on what the party is doing and also share with him on what the government is doing.”
Source: thenationonlineng.net

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