Some chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, have started voicing their frustrations at President Muhammadu Buhari’s retention of the political office holders appointed by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who they noted are members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
While calling for their sack, the APC leaders insisted that Jonathan’s appointees be replaced by members of the ruling party who labored and spent their money for the victory of the the opposition party in the last elections.
A chieftain of the party noted that it was as if Buhari was rewarding members of the PDP and punishing those of his party, amidst wide-spread feelings that the President was not even helping the party with funds.
This particular APC chieftain in Lagos anonymously told The Punch that they had not benefited anything from Buhari since he took over power eight months ago.
He said, “President Buhari took over on May 29, 2015 and has not rewarded APC members. Most of the heads of departments and agencies are members of the PDP who worked for Jonathan. For example, Onyeka Onwenu is still the Director-General of the National Women Centre while Mike Omeri is still the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency.
“A former Special Adviser to Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, is still the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria while Mr. Sola Omole is still the Director-General of the Nigeria Television Authority.
“There are almost 100 ambassadorial positions that are supposed to have been filled but these people are still occupying the offices. We are not asking for security or sensitive positions but all these appointments I mentioned are not statutory but merely political.
“Our people who worked so hard and spent money on Buhari’s campaign are languishing. There are many competent people in the APC.”
Also craving anonymity, another APC chieftain told the newspaper that if Buhari continues this way, the APC might not be able to retain power beyond 2019, lamenting that most of the people being appointed by the President were either northerners or members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
While recalling that many of the ministers were rejected by their state governors and state party chapters for having no roots or allegiance to them, the party leader added that about 15 of the 36 people appointed as ministers did not work for the party in the last elections and were not popular in their states.
According to him, “In Bayelsa State, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, was a member of the PDP during the elections and he campaigned for Jonathan. He defected to the APC in August and was appointed a minister the following month. And yet, the core APC members were abandoned.
“The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, from Gombe State, is not an APC member. The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, is not an APC member. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, was a PDP member during the election and there are many more examples.”