Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, has admitted that many leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) failed President Muhammadu Buhari on issues bordering on the appointment of party members into federal boards and agencies across the country.
Mohammed made this disclosure while speaking with newsmen at the weekend.
With less than two years to the end of the current administration, there has been disquiet among APC supporters over their non-compensation by the government, having expended their time and resources in securing victory for the party in the 2015 election.
Recently, Hammed Ali, Comptroller General of Customs, and Lauretta Onochie, Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media, said there was still over 50 percent of Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) members in Buhari’s government.
However, the minister, while explaining why some members who worked for the party’s victory had not been rewarded, said though President Buhari directed APC leaders in all the states of the federation to forward names of members who contested primaries within the party to him, many of the leaders ignored the directive and chose to do otherwise.
In the opinion of Lai Mohammed, this slip on the part of party leaders in the states may have affected the chances of many APC supporters.
“I think Mr. President has actually explained that as early as 2015, he did direct that they should bring nominations for constituting the boards and he was very clear with the directive as to who should make the boards, who should qualify.
“I remember he said anybody that has been a frontline actor in the run-up to the elections, anybody who had either contested for primaries within the party and lost, or because they agreed on consensus he was asked to step down, anybody who actually contested elections, either at governorship level, National Assembly level or even state level against either PDP or Labour Party and had lost, that these are the main stakeholders in the party, these are the people who ought to be recommended for the appointments.
“But as you know, Mr. President himself alone cannot do all these, all politics that we play is local.
“I agree that those who are charged with that responsibility failed and that’s why we are in the mess we are now, and he has promised that there is going to be a fresh exercise because it is one thing to dissolve the board but you can’t leave them vacant, and I think we are going to see a lot of progress in that direction.”
On why some notable governorship aspirants and members of the presidential campaign team who worked directly with President Buhari were yet to be rewarded, the minister said it was not possible to compensate everybody at the same time.
“That is why I gave the example of governorship and National Assembly (members).
“But also don’t forget that all politics is local. If I am the chairman of Delta State APC or I am a leader in Delta State APC, and I am given criteria, but I decide to bypass those criteria, Mr. President is too busy to look into all these things.
“I know many states, for instance, where people are complaining that it is not those who ought to be compensated that were rewarded by the government, but again, it is not possible for you to compensate everybody at the same time.
“Certain boards are not due for dissolution because some of them are tenured while some are governed by certain rules.
“Also, certain boards need specialists to manage. Like I said, the truth of the matter is that Mr. President, as far back as 2015, gave this assignment to party members and they failed.
“They failed Mr. President. That is the honest truth.”
On whether the PDP members in Buhari’s government are making money which they are using to fight the government, the minister said, “I wouldn’t know where they are making the money from, but clearly, in politics, they always say never empower your enemy.”
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