Northern govs protest Jonathan's cainet list

2009-03-31
VANGUARD Newspaper


LAGOS—THERE are indications that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan’s list of ministerial nominees has not gone down well with some Northern governors who felt they were not consulted before the choices were made.

Specifically, the governors, who are said to have an axe to grind with the Acting President, accused him of trying to please everybody and nominating their political enemies for ministerial appointments.

Vanguard learnt that governors who were dissatisfied with the Acting President included those of Kogi, Kebbi, Bauchi and Niger states.

A dependable source who pleaded anonymity, said such action by the Acting President had made the North to see him as working against its interest.

The source said: “The impression of the North is that the Acting President is confused because it appears he wants to satisfy everyone. The Acting President is trying to please Obasanjo, Babangida, Danjuma, Mark, and Bankole all at once, and this is creating a lot of problem for him.”

The source also argued that the appointment of Lieutenant-General Aliyu Gusau (rtd), as the National Security Adviser, NSA, might be inimical to the Acting President’s interest. He claimed: “Some of the people he is appointing are those who will scheme him out. For example, Gusau that he appointed as NSA is known to be nursing presidential ambition and he can scheme Jonathan out.”

Political camp of Isa Yuguda

A close source to Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State told Vanguard that Senator Bala Muhammed of ANPP has since fallen apart with the governor. He said: “You know they belonged to the same political camp but since he has been attacking the governor, they have gone their separate ways. But the governor is a nationalist who believes that anyone who is committed to the development of the state should be the one to represent it.”

It was also learnt that the development had pitched Jonathan against the remnants of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua’s supporters who are still loyal to him.


Mr Nuhu Somo Way (left) chatting with Akinlabi Olasunkanmi (right) and Fidelia Njeze (middle) during the Ministerial screening at the National Assembly.

One of them, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, in an interview with the Hausa Service of BBC said Yar’Adua was still their leader and that his supporters were waiting for him to return.

Not a few people alleged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had been influencing some of the decisions taken by Jonathan. For instance, the return of Gen. Gasau who served in the same capacity under Obasanjo between 1999 and 2006, was believed to have been influenced by Obasanjo.

Also, many were of the opinion that the decision of the Acting President to dissolve the Executive Council of the Federation after much pressure from the public was prompted by Lt-Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd). Danjuma, who is the chairman of the recently-appointed Presidential Advisory Commission, had reportedly told Jonathan to act decisively on the issue.

Imo, Kaduna groups oppose nominees

Political stakeholders from Imo and Kaduna States have petitioned the Senate expressing displeasure over the ministerial nominations.

Orlu Council of Elders in Imo State and Concerned Citizens of Kaduna State in two separate petitions backed with court affidavits addressed to the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, alleged marginalization and apathy over the ministerial nominations made from their States.

The petition from Orlu Council of Elders also copied to Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan, and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.), alleged that Orlu zone, with the majority population had been systematically schemed out in the appointment of federal officials in the State.

The Orlu Council of Elders alleged that the ministerial nomination of Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho (rtd.) from the Owerri zone in Imo State was a direct affront to the subsisting power sharing formula in the state.

Noting the resolution of the Orlu zone to concede the governorship of the State to Okigwe and Owerri zones ahead of the 2007 gubernatorial election, the deposition also cited the appointment of Prof. Chinwe Obaji, Prof. Fabian Osuji, and Dr. Kema Chikwe all from Owerri zone as ministers representing the State in the recent past.

Orlu zone demands justice

The Orlu elders said it was wrong for Owerri to also have the ministerial position alongside other appointments presently enjoyed by the zone. They cited the office of Deputy Governor and Ambassador among other federal appointments now being enjoyed by Owerri zone.


Ministerial nominee, Mr Odein Ajumogobia (left) with Hon. Cairo Ojougboh shortly after his screening at National Assembly .

Publicity secretary of the council of elders, Chief Peter Mgbowolu said: “Despite geopolitical and economical strength of Orlu zone and despite the fact that Orlu has a large reservoir of capable and tested high flying technocrats, bureaucrats and politicians, we are monumentally short-changed in the allocation of government positions.

“Orlu zone is now politically an orphan, abandoned and not reckoned with. This situation is too good to be true and too bad to be left uncorrected.”

While pleading with the Senate to reject the nomination, the group said “we graciously plead that you use your good office to address this injustice.”

The group also cautioned stakeholders in Owerri and Okigwe zones to stand in support of the zoning arrangement saying: “Owerri and Okigwe people must stand up in defence of Orlu interest on this matter or forget the age old zoning arrangement in Imo State which is now being truncated by the giving of the ministerial seat to Owerri.”

The Concerned Citizens of Kaduna in their petition signed by several former and serving political office holders disagreed with the nomination of Arc. Nuhu Way, as the ministerial nominee representing the State. They claimed that he failed in his last appointment as Minister of State, Power.

The petition was backed with an affidavit authored by a citizen of the State, John Yahaya

 

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