How Buhari will pick ministers, by Odigie-Oyegun



NATIONAL Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie -Oyegun yesterday gave an insight into the calibre of persons that would make the cabinet of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

In an interview with reporters at the party secretariat in Abuja, he revealed that Buhari would go beyond members of the APC to pick members of his cabinet.

Oyegun, who faulted the notion that he was angling for the position of the Secretary to the Federal Government of the Federation (SGF), said that the party was not at war with Buhari over the choice of his ministers.

He explained that the party had to manage crises that arose as a result of the emergence of Senator Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara considering the fact that not long from now the President would be presenting the list of his ministerial nominees to the National Assembly.

The APC chief explained that the rapprochement with the lawmakers was required to ensure the APC live up to the expectations of Nigerians.

He noted: “There 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 members of the party.

What is important is the qualification of the person and the ability of the person to deliver on the ideas of the President. “What we are interested is in 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.”

Secondly, this 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.

It is a prerogative the President should exercise and we cannot question that. We are quite happy about the way he is proceeding.”

On his purported interest in the post of SGF, he said: “On this issue of SGF, I will respond to you just in case, because I don’t want to offend anybody but I will say this quite definitely.

I 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, isn’t it? And nobody has approached me or that he is considering me for that position or another.”

On the notion that the President is being held back from presenting his ministerial nominees due to the inordinate ambition of some party leader, he said: “No. I don’t think that will hold him back at all. Like he said, he said he belongs to everybody and he belongs to nobody.

They should just be patient. He does not want to make avoidable mistakes. What is important is to see whether on a daily basis your life is improving.

Everything that can be done in these few days are being done and the effect is being felt already. “Let me assure the public that peace is on the way. We had a problem in the family, no doubt about that, but we are moving quickly to resolve it. As you can see, we are working hard to see that the leaders and rank and file don’t start throwing punches.”

On fears that the recent crises that rocked the APC could provide a veritable ground for the PDP to upstage APC in no distant time, he said: “There was no doubt that when you have problems, your opponent will seize the opportunity to rise up.

What is important is how quickly we put our acts together and get all these behind us and move forward strongly. Some of these setbacks, no doubt, will give the other side the opportunity to laugh, but it is temporal and usual wherever you have human beings.”

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