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Ex-ministers lobby Jonathan for reappointment

There were indications on Tuesday that President Goodluck Jonathan was under pressure from many members of the cabinet, which he dissolved on Monday.

THE PUNCH learnt of this just as Jonathan held a closed door meeting with the former ministers and senior aides at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Investigations showed that many of the ex-ministers had not only approached the President directly, but had also sought the assistance of various groups to ensure their re-appointment.

Some of the interest groups, including the Organised Private Sector, are believed to have intervened on behalf of some of the former ministers.

Our correspondents learnt that some highly placed Lagos State indigenes had moved against the re-appointment of the ex- Minister of Finance, Mr. Segun Aganga, to represent the state.

A Peoples Democratic Party member, who pleaded anonymity, said, “Indigenes of Lagos State are not against the appointment of Aganga, but he should not be reappointed to represent Lagos.

“If he uses Lagos slot, what happens to qualified indigenes of the state? The era of using our state as a scapegoat is gone.”

Those who are opposed to the reappointment of Aganga on the Lagos platform cited Section 147 (3) of the Constitution to back their position.

Section 147 (1) of the constitution states, “There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President.

(2) Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.

(3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this constitution:-

Provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid, the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each state, who shall be an indigene of such state.”

It was learnt that in Edo State, where Aganga hails from, the state chapter of the PDP had declined to include his name in its ministerial nominees list.

“We do not know Aganga as a member of the PDP in the state so why should we include his name? He has not indentified with us in the state. We cannot therefore nominate him,” said an Edo State member of the party.

But members of the OPS are believed to have “put in some words” for the former minister ” with the President.

Besides the OPS, groups such as the New Nigeria Northern Forum have also lobbied on behalf of some ministers, whose chances of returning were slim.

Such former ministers are Aganga; Prof. Ruqayyat Rufai, and Mrs. Diaezani Alison-Madueke.

While Rufai is on the PDP’s ministerial list in Jigawa, Allison-Madueke’s names is missing on the lists from Bayelsa and Anambra State.

Mrs Madueke hails from Bayelsa State but is married to an indigene of Anambra State.

The NNNF, in an advertorial in national newspaper on Tuesday urged the President to reappoint the three ministers and Mr. Odein Ajumogobia.

It was also learnt that some former female ministers purposely attended a pre-inauguration party organised by the wife of the President, Patience, for female politicians on Friday to brighten their chances.

The source stated, “Many of them want the first lady to talk to her husband to ensure that they are reappointed.”

Jonathan had at the inauguration lecture on Thursday, lamented that he was under pressure from lobbyists, 90 of whom he said, were seeking appointments for either themselves, their wives, children, brothers or friends.

Meanwhile, the President on Monday played host to the sacked FEC members at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.

Although details of what transpired at the meeting were not made known, one of our correspondents learnt that the Jonathan formally thanked them for their service to the nation.

He also wished them well and informed them that their services might still be needed.

An interesting development in the Villa was the requirement for clearance for the former ministers before being allowed inside the Villa to attend the inauguration of Senator Anyim Pius Anyim as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The President was said to have invited the ex-ministers to witness the event, but, in a development that shows that power is ephemeral, they were made to first receive visitors tags at the security post.

They were also not allowed to enter the complex with their cars.

-Punch

 

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Posted by on May 31 2011. Filed under Education, Ministries, Top Stories, Women Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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