Tenure Extension: Jonathan Subtly Sows Seed For Constitutional Amendment


AUSTYN OGANNAH,  THE WILL

SAN FRANCISCO, May 27, (THEWILL) – With barely three days to the swearing in of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the Eagle Square, Abuja, it looks like Nigerians in no distant future will witness another round of heated debates and fierce disagreements following the sound bite from Mr. President at the ‘2011 Presidential Inaugural Lecture where he spoke under the theme: ‘A transformational Agenda for Accelerated National Development.

President Jonathan in his address Thursday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Abuja said the current four-year tenure for elected executives as stipulated by the 1999 Constitution ‘is too short’ for the President and Governors to implement any meaningful and sustainable agenda, as it takes about one year and a half for the executive to settle into office with the right caliber of Ministers and Commissioners respectively.

While responding to a remark by Professor Ladipo Adamolekun, Jonathan said, “…The constitution has said four years, though some believe that four years is too short to make any change, which I also believe….

“I believe because, if you are a new person and you are elected as a governor today, it will take one to one and half years for you to really stabilize, and you also know that some members of your cabinet are not good and that is why in most cases, after one year or two Mr. president reshuffles the cabinet and by the time you want to go for another two and half years, it is another election and you are all busy about winning election.

“It is a constitutional problem,” the President stated.

Continuing, Jonathan stated, “In terms of people we appoint as Ministers, if you look across why we have not transformed significantly, if you count from Tafawa Balewa to Ajumogobia as Foreign Ministers, we have 24 Foreign Ministers, in the space of 50 years that means an average of two years per Minister, then how would a country drive its foreign policy? It will take more than two years for you to understand the policy, vis-à-vis the national interest, some politicians will come to you with soft tongue. If care is not taken, you commit the future of your country to them and that is the problem that we are having.

“I am not saying that a minister should serve for like 30-40 years, but if we must transform, if the Minister is performing beyond 60 per cent average, you will expect that such a minister should be retained. In some developed countries, you have people staying in ministerial position for five-six years and when they go and represent their President, they are home on any issues raised.”

THEWILL has always known about this hush-hush plan for a possible constitutional amendment that will see executives get a single one-term tenure of seven (7) years. The plan is being orchestrated by a few close advisers to the President, even though serious moves for its actualization has not started.

Recall that moves by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his second term in office, to get the National Assembly to amend the constitution to allow for tenure extension failed after a very heated, divisive and passion-charged nationwide political debate.

It was the move that crested the ‘open war’ between the former Vice President and his deputy Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who openly opposed the tenure extension move of Obasanjo at the National Assembly, where legislators were offered as much as N50 million cash to pass the amendment as recently revealed by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

From the evidence on ground, it is obvious that the predominantly Muslim north is eager to return to power having lost out following the demise of one of its own, President Umaru Yar’Adua, with just about two and a half years in office.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who was his deputy, was sworn in afterwards as President. He is a minority Christian from the oil rich Niger Delta South.

The ruling party PDP, which has won every presidential election since this political dispensation began in 1999, has a written power sharing principle that allows power rotate between the north and south presumably every 8 years (two terms of four years).

It is however not clear whether President Jonathan would stand for reelection in 2015 as the current constitution allows. Though he has hinted that he would not, his aides and advisers are however nudging him to do otherwise, THEWILL can report.

But considering the glaring divide especially amongst northerners following his emergence as Presidential candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and subsequent landslide victory in an election praised both locally and internationally as the freest and fairest ever since independence, it is however too early to predict where the tide may swing

Presidential tribunal clears Jonathan, Sambo for swearing-in


By Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

All appears set for the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan and his vice, Namadi Sambo.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal yesterday struck out a motion by the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), asking it to stop the May 29th inauguration, pending when the petition against them would be determined.

This was after the petitioner withdrew its petition challenging the April 16th presidential election victory of Jonathan.

The tribunal consequently struck out the petition, following request by counsel to Jonathan, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN)who led Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN).

The HDP came to the court yesterday with its house divided. Mr. Tochukwu Alozor, a lawyer who purportedly signed the petition filed on May 6 on behalf of the party, shocked the court when he claimed ignorance of the document, saying he did not author it.

Although the five-man panel of Justices chaired by the Court of Appeal President, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, stood down for 10 minutes, Alozor and a new lawyer for HDP, Mr. Eyare Ogah, could not settle the dispute.

In one breath, Ogah asked for adjournment. In another, he asked to withdraw his appearance for the party.

Surprised by the approach adopted by the lawyer, Justice Salami advised Ogah to make his choice clear so that he would not blame the panel for whatever fate befalls the petition.

Sensing the determination of the tribunal to take a decisive action, Ogah applied to withdraw the petition.

Reacting, Iziyon urged the tribunal to strike it out, while counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. A. B. Mahmud, asked for its outright dismissal.

Ruling, Justice Salami observed that the panel was liberal in allowing Ogah to move the application for withdrawal even though he did not seek the leave of the court.

“We granted the applicant the leave to withdraw the application in concurrence with respondents’ counsel. The petition dated 6th of May is hereby struck out,” he said.

Also yesterday, the tribunal granted Jonathan’s request demanding for further and better particulars from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Two die at valedictory party for Saraki

By Our Reporter

A stampede has occurred in Ilorin, Kwara State, with no fewer than two people feared dead.

Although the details of the incident were sketchy yesterday, the stampede was said to have occurred at a valedictory ceremony held in honour of the outgoing governor of the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

Members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who had attended the ceremony in solidarity with the outgoing governor were said to have been mostly affected.

A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretar to the Governor, Mas’ud Adebimpe, indicated that the stampede occurred when some hoodlums pulled down a part of the wall at the venue of the ceremony.

The statement also said Saraki was shocked and saddened by the ugly incident and had consequently directed security operatives in the state to investigate the incident.

The statement reads: “Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State has commiserated with the entire Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) family in the state over the death of two of its members who lost their lives during a stampede which occurred at a valedictory party on Friday.

“The governor, who expressed shock and sadness over the development, has directed security operatives in the state to commence full investigation into the sad occurrence.

“Preliminary investigation by the police revealed that some hoodlums, while attempting to rob party women at the valedictory ceremony, had pulled down the fence of the venue, which resulted in a stamped that led to the loss of lives.’’

The statement quoted Saraki as vowing that anyone found culpable would not go unpunished.

Tribunal approves analysis of Oyo North senatorial voting materials

By Bisi Oladele
The Oyo State Election Petitions Tribunal yesterday granted the request of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) senatorial candidate in Oyo North, Dr. Wale Okediran, to invite forensic and handwriting experts to analyse ballot papers and other materials used for the election.
Okediran is challenging the victory of Mr. Hosea Agboola of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The three-man tribunal, headed by Justice Chukwuemeka Nwizu, granted the application filed by the petitioner’s counsel, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), for the inspection and analysis of the materials to determine the claim that the election was rigged in Agboola’s favour.
Other members of the tribunal are Justices Alasa Omolaye-Ajileye and Muhammad Alkali.
Okediran is challenging the results in 10 of the 13 local governments that make up the district.
They are Ogbomoso North, Ogbomoso South, Saki East, Saki West, Iwajowa, Olorunsogo, Itesiwaju, Oriire, Olorunsogo and Irepodun local governments.
Besides ballot papers, the experts will be allowed to make photocopies and analyse forms EC8A, EC8B, EC25B, EC40A, EC40B and EC40C.
The tribunal also granted Agboola permission to bring his handwriting and forensic experts to witness the analysis as requested by his counsel, Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN).
The second respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was absent at the hearing.
Speaking with reporters after the proceedings, Okediran said he was in court to seek justice, alleging that the election was not free and fair in the affected local governments.
He said he had enough facts to prove that the election was fraught with irregularities.
But Agboola said Okediran challenged the election in the councils where he lost, adding that his victory would be re-affirmed by the tribunal.
Agboola was, until his election, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
He defeated Okediran with 133,143 to 94,896 votes.

Witches deploy 500 members to Abuja for Jonathan’s inauguration

By TAIWO OLUWADARE

The Witches and Wizards Association of Nigeria (WITZAN), has deployed 500 witches to Abuja and other parts of Ahead of Nigeria to prevent any tragic occurrence and ensure peaceful inauguration on May 29.

According to its national co-ordinator, Dr Okhue Iboi, the decision was taken after an emergency meeting at Zuma rock, Niger State. WITZAN also warned President Goodluck Jonathan to take adequate security as bad  people and disgruntled politicians are planning to cause problems.

Iboi, however, disclosed that the nation would soon have a respite from the people currently throwing bombs all over the places as they would be exposed: “We are going to expose those sponsoring bomb blasts in the country after May 29.  They have been caged already. We are going to use our power to cause them to come out and confess their misdeeds. Nigerians would be surprised at how the saboteurs would be exposed.”

He said it was revealed to the witches as far back as last year that no other candidate except Jonathan would rule the nation. The association which also predicted the failure of both former military president Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida and vice president Atiku Abubakar in their presidential quests also disclosed that Jonathan would serve his four-year tenure at the end of which Nigerians would be begging him to go for another term because he has been chosen by God to lead the nation.

Iboi, however, warned Jonathan to beware of sycophants, while warning the incoming ministers and advisers to co-operate with the president and discharge their duties with dedication. The witches warned former Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) to stop wasting his time pursuing the presidency:

“Buhari should stop wasting his time because his time is past. He can never rule the nation again.  His time is gone.” The incoming National Assembly will deliver.  This is the time Nigerians will know that they have real legislators.
“Some people look at us as if we are evil minded people.  Not all witches are bad.  Our own type of witchcraft is progressive. We are willing to intervene in the affairs of the country anytime the government decides to seek our counsel.  We have the solutions to bring lasting peace to the country.  Witches and wizards in the country are ready to help restore Nigeria’s lost glory.

“We saw June 12 crisis long before it happened and we warned the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola but he ignored us.  Abiola would have been Nigeria’s president but some of us decided to punish him over the role he played in scuttling the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo presidential ambition.  We warned him not to waste his time and life.  This was reported in some national dailies.  We also dealt with the late General Sani Abacha for the execution of the late Ken Saro-Wiwa.”

Minister: Selfish lobbyists besiege me, says Jonathan

By Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

THE President confirmed yesterday what has been widely known – there is a huge lobby for ministerial jobs.
But, 10 per cent of the lobbyists are doing it for national interest, he said at the Presidential Inauguration Lecture at the Foreign Affairs Headquarters, Abuja.
The 10 per cent are people whose primary concern is to push for competent people and not just for themselves or their relatives, he said.
He also spoke on post-election litigations, saying they declined by 80%.
He hopes that by 2015, they would have gone down by 95%.
The improvement, according to the President, was due to some drastic changes made before the election.
Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun, a development consultant to the World Bank for two decades, delivered the lecture.
The President said he had identified leadership as the only snag to the country getting to the top and that was why he changed the electoral process.
He explained that there are two categories of leaders: those who are elected and those who force themselves on the people through all means, including violence.
Jonathan, who was responding to questions from reporters, said his discussions with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the need to ensure that votes counted worked the magic.
He said some of the factors that contributed to the success of the 2011 general elections was the stand that votes are counted at the polling units and results given to party agents.
Said the President: “For us to get to where we want to go, to transform our country in all aspects, the challenge we have is the leaders, because no matter the interests of Nigerians, if we don’t have the leaders that can do that we cannot go anywhere.
“And I believe that the first step to transformation is to make sure that people select and elect their leaders. If you make mistake by electing a leader, you can tell that leader that ‘you are not doing well; so, we will see in the next four years’.
“When I travelled outside, even when I was acting President, I noticed there was just one thing we needed to do in our electoral process: get a credible umpire and make sure that at the end of the polls the results are declared at every unit and let all the agents have copies of that result.
“I think I’m one of the most fortunate Nigerians. For the past 12 years, I have been at the top, either as deputy governor, governor, vice president and later presidential candidate, so I know what the problem is at this point.
“If those results are not shared to agents and people move and at the end of the poll they just pack everything to either the ward or local government headquarters to count, a lot of things could happen. Where somebody gets 100 votes, it could turn to 10,000 votes. So, I said to the INEC chairman, ‘no matter what you do, make sure that the votes are counted and the results are shared to all the agents of the candidates and the two or three accredited security agencies too should get the results’. We insisted on that and, luckily, our elections have been accepted as free and fair.
“The legal adviser of PDP told me a week ago when we discussed about the cases in court, that the number of litigations has dropped compared to 2007; it has dropped by over 80%.
“That shows that even in terms of electoral processes, we are transforming; we are going somewhere,” the President said.
He went on: “In fact, I remember when I was acting president; the President of South Africa came to visit and I asked him the length of time they allowed after election in court because I was a bit worried that after election two years into tenure of four years matters are still in court.
“He was surprised that somebody should go to court after elections, but in South Africa you will be surprised that nobody is going to court after elections.
“My feeling is that if within this year alone because of the little changes we have made, we are able to reduce litigations by over 80%, I believe that in 2015, we will reduce it by 95%.”
Dr Jonathan said on the lobby for ministerial positions:
“If you open the newspapers today, you will read that there are people who are lobbying to be ministers and I’m at the centre of it and I know that more than 60% of the stories are not true.
“But, I know that there are two categories of lobbyists, I will just put it this way; there are people lobbying for ministerial positions for what I term as personal reasons, either for themselves, their wives etc. Then, those who love the country.
“Those who love the country, when they come to you for a particular person, if you analyse it, you will see that they have no relationship with that person; they are only lobbying because they feel that that person has the background to do the job; those are people who love this country. Unfortunately, they are less than 10%.
“Another thing is the time these people will spend to do their work. If a government comes up with a good policy and another government comes, there is a tendency for it to change. One thing I believe helped us not to transform the way we want to is the duration for ministers.
“I will not talk about the president or the governors because the constitution has set four years. If you count from the time of Tafawa Balewa to Ajumogobia, we have had 24 ministers in the space of 51 years, that means an average of two years for one minister. How will a country drive its foreign policy?
“It takes more than two years to really understand the policy of your country.
I am not saying any minister should serve like the defunct Soviet Union that had the longest serving minister of over 40 years, but at least you will expect that a minister, if they must transform and if that person is performing above 60% average, if you must change and develop, we expect that minister to stay for a number of years,” Dr Jonathan said.
Delivering his lecture entitled “A Transformation Agenda for Accelerating National Development”, Adamolekun identified five fundamentals that are necessary to transform the country.
The fundamentals, according to him, are: electoral legitimacy, peace and security, government policy stability, rule of law and anti-corruption.
He noted that the significance of electoral legitimacy connotes that the leaders that emerge through credible elections will be accountable to their citizens while the citizens will also be free to demand accountability from the leaders, adding that such development “is generally considered conducive for achieving well-performing governments”.
The lecturer described peace and security as “an incontrovertible precondition for development”. He stressed the need to revisit the implementation of the amnesty programme for sustainable peace in the Niger Delta.
He said the Ministry of Niger Delta should be phased out while the NDDC should be strengthened and run by experts and professionals.
Adamolekun lamented instability in government policies, especially in critical sectors, stressing that “there have been varying degrees of inconsistencies and contradictions, including notable policy reversals”. He cited policy reversals in privatisation and education.
He noted that countries, such as Botswana, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand and a host of others, recorded sustained high growth (7 per cent and above) for 25 years because of policy stability during the second half of the 20th century.
Adamolekun raised a poser by 2015, would Jonathan’s score card have earned him the title of a transformational leader? Even though he declined to answer the question, the lecturer said the President would be assessed by the progress made in ensuring peace and stability, reducing corruption, rehabilitating education and infrastructure with emphasis on electricity supply.
“I would add that the extent to which the President is able to rapidly enhance implementation capacity through progress regarding the four implementation issues discussed in the lecture will impact on his achievements regarding the three Transformation Results Areas (TRAs) – education rehabilitation, fixing poor
infrastructure and achieving the MDGs”.

Operation Rainbow takes off in Plateau


By Marie-therese peter
The security outfit set up by the Plateau State Government to take over the maintenance of security in the state, code named Operation Rainbow, has finally come on board.
The outfit, which was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan, has Air vice Marshal Bala Danbaba as the Commander, with a temporary office at the Rayfield Government House, Jos.
Danbaba, who spoke with newsmen on the outfit, said its operation would be in the areas of addressing political, economic, social and physical issues relating to the crises that have bedeviled the state.
He said the outfit will use the period to create public awareness so as to sensitise people to its activities before it finally takes off with its physical programme, adding that it is currently recruiting about 3,250 personnel, made up of 10 youths from each of the 325 wards in the state, to serve as “neighbourhood watch men”.
The core personnel of the outfit, he said, would be made up of about 2,000 men, drawn from serving military and para-military outfits in the country, including the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Immigrations Service, the Police, the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and the Fire Service.
Danbaba said both the men of the Neighbourhood Watch and those of Operation Rainbow would be well trained to understand their roles in the outfit. The Neighbourhood Watch, he said would be trained on how to identify and relay information to the office of the Operation Rainbow in coded and faster means for quick intervention, while Operation Rainbow would be trained on rules of engagement.
The Neighbourhood Watch, he said, will not carry arms, while the core of the operatives drawn from the military and para-military outfits in the state would be the ones to carry fire arms but will be properly educated on how to handle them.

New cabinet: Orubebe, Diezani, Anenih, Ajimogobia, nine other ministers may be retained

By  Yussuf Alli
As the Federal Executive Council winds up on Wednesday, there is disquiet in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan over 13 favoured ministers.
The development has caused panic among the colleagues of the 13 ministers following speculations that they may be retained.
Also, the fate of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Ogiadhome, is uncertain as as The Presidency is weighing options either to retain him or appoint Elder Godsday Orubebe to replace him. If the President makes up his mind on Orubebe, the current Chief of Staff may be made a minister.
But the jostling for ministerial appointments is preoccupying The Presidency now. The President manages a 42-member cabinet with 36 from the states of the federation and six representing the nation’s geopolitical zones.
The lifespan of the present cabinet will expire on May 25 (next Wednesday) with most members lobbying for retention.
But as the lobbying intensifies, there are concerns that the President may have indicated his preference for the retention of about 13 favoured ministers. The ministers are: Mrs. Fidelia Njeze (Aviation); Akinlabi Olasunkanmi (Youth); a mobiliser and favourite of the First Lady, Mrs. Josephine Anenih (Women Affairs); Humphrey Abba (Police Affairs); Aliyu Idi Hong (Foreign Affairs); Senator Bala Mohammed (FCT).
Other favoured members of the cabinet are Diezani Allison-Madueke (Petroleum Resources); a close ally of the President, Godsday Orubebe (Niger Delta); Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (Defence), whom Governor Segun Mimiko is pushing for; Labaran Maku (Information and Communications); Odein Ajumogobia (Foreign Affairs), who is always lauded for his ‘quiet and far-reaching’ diplomacy; Yusuf Sulaiman (Transport), a nominee of a powerful monarch in the North who was instrumental to Jonathan’s success at the general elections; and Mohammed Bello Adoke SAN (Justice).
According to findings, the disquiet among ministers followed recurring engagement of some of the ministers in ‘sensitive’ tasks by the President in the last few days to their exit.
Apart from the inclusion of some of the favoured ministers in the 2011 Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies Committee, some of them are either heading a sub-committee or the other.
It was also learnt that the President is planning to address the business community in Lagos on Monday and some of these ministers have been invited to be part of the presidential entourage on the eve of the dissolution of the cabinet.
A cabinet source said: “Some ministers have known that they may not come back. And the recurring engagement of some of these ‘favoured’ ministers is a signal that at least an appreciable number of them may be retained.
“Some of them are, however, unhappy that they have been sidelined one way or the other.
“If not for adherence to zoning principle in Cross River , Mr. John Odey would have been favoured by the President for retention. He was vital to the electoral victory of the President. The disposition of Governor Liyel Imoke may determine his fate in the cabinet.
“Another minister who is very close to the President but whose fate is yet to be determined is Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade from Ekiti State.”
As at press time, there were indications that there may be a shake-up in The Presidency with changes likely to affect the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Chief of Staff (COS) and some key aides to the President.
A reliable source added: “I think the President is weighing the options of either retaining the Chief of Staff, Mike Ogiadhome, or appointing the Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, as the new COS with Ogiadhome likely to be made a minister.

Operation Rainbow takes off in Plateau
By Marie-therese peter
The security outfit set up by the Plateau State Government to take over the maintenance of security in the state, code named Operation Rainbow, has finally come on board.
The outfit, which was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan, has Air vice Marshal Bala Danbaba as the Commander, with a temporary office at the Rayfield Government House, Jos.
Danbaba, who spoke with newsmen on the outfit, said its operation would be in the areas of addressing political, economic, social and physical issues relating to the crises that have bedeviled the state.
He said the outfit will use the period to create public awareness so as to sensitise people to its activities before it finally takes off with its physical programme, adding that it is currently recruiting about 3,250 personnel, made up of 10 youths from each of the 325 wards in the state, to serve as “neighbourhood watch men”.
The core personnel of the outfit, he said, would be made up of about 2,000 men, drawn from serving military and para-military outfits in the country, including the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the Immigrations Service, the Police, the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, and the Fire Service.
Danbaba said both the men of the Neighbourhood Watch and those of Operation Rainbow would be well trained to understand their roles in the outfit. The Neighbourhood Watch, he said would be trained on how to identify and relay information to the office of the Operation Rainbow in coded and faster means for quick intervention, while Operation Rainbow would be trained on rules of engagement.
The Neighbourhood Watch, he said, will not carry arms, while the core of the operatives drawn from the military and para-military outfits in the state would be the ones to carry fire arms but will be properly educated on how to handle them.

House Speakership: ACN Lawmakers Dump Muraina, Mulikat

THEWILL


LAGOS, May 18, (THEWILL) – Federal representatives elected on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) today unanimously agreed not to support any candidate for the Speakership of the House of Representatives that is a protégé of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, THEWILL can report.

The ACN representatives also decided against the candidacy of Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDP) over what they attributed to her undue allegiance to the incumbent Governor of Oyo State, Mr. Adebayo Alao-Akala. Mulikat and Alao-Akala hail from Ogbomosho area of Oyo State.

The position of the ACN, whose votes are considered crucial in the election of a new House Speaker put the ambition of Hon. Ajibola Saubana Muraina (PDP) in jeopardy following Obasanjo’s insistence on enthroning him as Speaker. Ajibola’s candidacy had also received the support of ousted PDP governors of Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states.

The leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had come under severe criticism from members of the party especially those from the South East following the party’s decision to zone the speakership to the South West, where the party lost woefully in the April general election.

Lawmakers in the lower house who have a history of disdain for Speakers chosen with the influence of external hands have vowed to frustrate any bid by ‘godfathers’ to enthrone their protégé as Speaker.

Recall the impeachment of Hon. Patricia Etteh, whose elevation as Speaker was influenced by then outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo.

THEWILL however learned that the ACN representatives made the decision to dump the duo at a meeting presided over by the Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in Abuja on Tuesday night.

It was further gathered that the representatives hinged their decision on Obasanjo’s role in rigging the 2003 and 2007 general elections in favour of PDP candidates in the South West geo-political zone.

THE ACN representatives are wary of the influence both Obasanjo and Alao-Akala may have on both Ajibola and Mulikat knowing that Alao-Akala is also Obasanjo’s protégé.

THEWILL gathered that ACN legislators have set certain conditions, which a candidate for the position of Speaker must meet before he/she would get the block support of all lawmakers from the party.

One of the legislators at the meeting told THEWILL that the party would not just back any candidate.

“We are looking at each of the candidates to provide strong leadership, which the lower chamber needs to perform its functions without internal crisis and dissension.

“ACN lawmakers want a Speaker, who will be independent, non-partisan and who will explore the tool of teamwork and collective responsibility in leading the lower chamber in from next month. Both Muraina and Akande-Adeola did not meet these requirements due to attachment to their leaders.

“ACN lawmakers have not actually decided which of the candidates contesting for Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives to support. But we have started consultation, and a committee has been set up to interrogate all the candidates. The committee will submit its report anytime from now,” the lawmaker who asked not to be named in this report stated.

THEWILL also gathered from the source that ACN representatives would hold a meeting with the national leadership of their party before the speakership election takes place.

“We will work in line with the core interest of our party, the Action Congress of Nigeria. So, our voting pattern will definitely reflect the interest of party and that of the federation,” the source added.

It is however unclear whether the PDP would reconsider its earlier decision to zone to the Speakership seat to the South West where it has only three ranking returning representative.

The South East zone of the party has maintained that it wants to occupy the Speaker seat or the Office of the Senate President.

Senate bars freshers from leadership positions

By Gbade Ogunwale

The Senate yesterday called the bluff of critics. It amended certain clauses in its body of rules, making it impossible for freshers to vie for positions, particularly President of the Senate.

Through a unanimous voice vote after a guided debate that lasted more than two hours, the lawmakers overwhelmingly endorsed the amendment with relish. Bringing down the gavel on the amendment, Senate President David Mark said the Senate could not have chickened out of the amendment simply because a section of the public kicked against the move.

Describing the opposition to the amendment as deliberate blackmail from outside the parliament, Mark said the rule was not new and that the Senate only moved it from one section of the rules book to the other.

His words: “This is not a rule that is new; it already exists. We only moved it from Section 97(1) (f) to 3(2). Any new senator who is not ranking today would be ranking tomorrow.”

“It is for the strengthening of the Senate as an institution. This has nothing to do with David Mark but the institution of Senate. Commentators are ignorant of the rules and they were trying to blackmail us.

“There is nothing wrong with what we are doing now. If we chicken out because a few people are not comfortable with it, I think it is not the right thing to do.”

However, the composition of principal officers in the current Senate appears to fault Mark’s claim on the pre-existence of the rule. Of the 10 principal officers, seven are ranking members. The remaining three got the positions as first time members.

The ranking members among the list are: David Mark (President of the Senate); Ike Ekweremadu (Deputy President of the Senate); Teslim Folarin (Majority Leader); Kanti Bello (Chief Whip); Victor Ndoma Egba (Deputy Majority Leader); Maina Ma’aji Lawan (Minority Leader) and Olorunnimbe Mamora (Deputy Minority Leader).

First time senators who are principal officers are: Mohammed Mana (Deputy Chief Whip); Ahmad Sani (Minority Whip); and Kabiru Gaya (Deputy Minority Whip). None of them had any previous legislative experience at any level before they got elected to the Senate.

The amendment came through a motion by Majority Leader Teslim Folarin, entitled: “Amendment to Senate Standing Order 2007”.

The new rule 3(2) states that “nomination of senators to serve as presiding officers and appointment of principal officers and other officers of the Senate or any parliamentary delegations shall be in accordance with ranking of senators.”

By virtue of the amendment, senators are ranked in line with the number of times re-elected, followed by senators who had been members of the House of Representatives; and senators elected for the first time in that order.

A new clause was also inserted into Rule 111, which makes it possible for any unfinished legislative business to be carried over from a previous session to a new one. Unfinished legislative business used to terminate at the end of the session.

“The legislative business of the Senate, which remains undetermined at the close of a session of the Senate, shall be resumed and proceeded with in same manner as if no adjournment of the Senate had taken place.

“And all papers referred to committees and not reported upon at the close of session of the Senate shall be returned to the office of the Clerk of the Senate and retained until the next session of the Senate when they shall be returned to the relevant committees to which they had previously been referred.”

Among the senators who spoke in support of the amendment were Ekweremadu, Mamora, Annie Okwonkwo, Ndoma Egba and Lee Maeba.

Ministerial Slots Tear PDP Apart

WALE ELEGBEDE; COLLINS EKE; IBRAHIM OBANSA; SEYI OJELADE and CHUKWUEMEKA EZE

• State chapters break into factions • Defeated Govs, chieftains jostle for offices

THE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in the news again, just a few weeks after securing the most coveted slot in the last April General Elections: the Presidency; developments have shown that the largest ruling party in Africa is again struggling to harness this advantage and put it to a positive use.

Investigations revealed that internal crisis has gripped state chapters of the party over a directive from the National Working Committee for the submission of nominees for Ministerial Appointments. Also being expected for submission are nominees for appointment as Special Advisers and Members of Federal Boards and Parastatals. In all, each state chapter of the party is expected to send 10 nominees.

As a result, the chapters have broken into factions over the modalities to be applied in nominating candidates for the available posts.
National Daily findings showed that the most problematic states are where the incumbent governors, who might not be returning to their exalted offices, are still itching for Ministerial appointments.
Similarly, the issue of relevance forms the major stumbling block in selecting nominees in several states, most especially the Southern States, where the party stalwarts are interested in dictating the pace.

Prominent among incumbent governors, who are interested in ministerial appointments are, Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State and Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.
Lagos in disarray
Barely three weeks after recording a woeful performance at the general elections, the Lagos State Chapter of the party may be heading for another round of crisis over the ministerial nomination list requested for by the Party’s National Body.

Findings revealed that internal wrangling within the party took a turn for the worse, days before the April 26 gubernatorial elections when it was clear that the party is on a wild goose chase against the Mr. Babatunde Fashola-led Action Congress of Nigeria. At one of the meetings, there was a war of words among the various groups represented at the party secretariat over the contribution of each faction especially the selection process of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Ade Dosunmu, who many party faithful described as a neophyte in politics. The mandate group, led by the former Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, was visibly docile and indifferent in the run-up to the party campaign owing to their discontentment on the choice of the former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a high-ranked chieftain in the party described the situation of Lagos PDP as pathetic. He opines that the different factions in the party have decided to embark on a winner-takes-all strategy at the expense of other groups.

According to him, though all the factions conceded to a compensation for the party’s gubernatorial candidate but there are fears that the Establishment Group where Dosunmu belong might eventually swallow all other positions if the state gets just only one Ministerial slot like it presently is. “Any of the group that gets the ministerial slot will definitely be calling the shot and don’t forget there are still other position up for grabs like ambassadorial, board members of agencies and parastatals. Also, don’t forget that Segun Aganga is performing well and he might like be retained by the President. So, the battle is getting tensed and everyone wants to recognition from the President.”
In his words: “When it was obvious that PDP can’t win in Lagos even before the election, some members of the party who though did not decamped openly have engaged in serious anti-party activities but now when they found out that Lagos will be presenting three ministerial nominee, they are now back setting up different bodies when in the actual sense it’s their selfishness that brought us to where we were.

Some of them even went as far as the PDP headquarters in Abuja to discredit the party, the leadership and the gubernatorial candidate and that is one of the reasons why we never get the needed fund from the headquarters to prosecute our programmes. We need to restructure this party by injecting fresh blood so as to favorably compete during the local government elections and 2015 general elections.”

Recently, state PDP Elders Council led by Chief Yomi Finnih set up a committee to carry out an in-depth study on the failure of the party in the state. The council mandates the committee to carry out a thorough assessment of the party’s performance during the general election. The council also tasks the committee to recommend the process of rebranding and reconciling the party for future election.

However, the Lagos PDP disowned the Finnih’s Elder’s Council. A statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, declared that loyal party members should be aware of the antics of a few “who never worked for the party but now are strategizing to widen their political coast”.
“For the umpteenth time, there is no institution, no committee, ad hoc or permanent, known as the Elders Council in the PDP’s Constitution. Dr Finnih is just an ordinary member of PDP, nothing more. Even here, we cannot vouch for his loyalty to the party because Dr. Finnih and his cohorts never contributed anything at all to PDP campaign in Lagos in the concluded elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, a coalition of PDP neutral members has called on the called on the national headquarters of the party to proscribe all caucuses in the state immediately.

The meeting, which was chaired by a member of the National Council of Jonathan Campaign Organisation for the just-concluded presidential election, Princess Gloria Adebajo-Fraser (MFR), suggested that, “all current leaders of the party should be constituted into an advisory council while new breed, experienced, unbiased and committed party members should preside, participate and direct the party in the restructuring process towards 2015.”

While condemning the irreconcilable differences among their party leaders which have inadvertently affected the fortunes of the party negatively, the members also call for the suspension of all appointments for the Lagos State Branch of the Party until the present internal crisis is resolved in the party.

Tension in Oyo
In Oyo state, the story is not different as the party big wigs especially those who loose in the just concluded general elections battle for the state choice of nominees list.
Leading the anointed and most favourable names to be sent for possible considerations in Abuja from the Pace-setter state is the outgoing governor who lost his second term bid to the opposition in South West, Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala and the daughter of his cure loyalist also lost Oyo Central senatorial seat to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Jumoke Akinjide, the third name debated between the son of late Ibadan political giant, Senator Kamoru Adedibu, the outgoing Senate leader, Teslim Folarin whose influence lies in presidency and senate only.

National Daily correspondent reliably gathered that, Akala had shuttled Ibadan Abuja trip trice in one week aimed to block any influence from Presidency and Senate where his opponents tends to coming against his list led by the senate leader. From all indication, the party had concluded plans to retain serving minister of sport, Prof Taoheed Adedoja based on his loyalty to the party and the outgoing governor.

It would be recalled in a letter signed by the acting National Chairman of the party, Dr Bello Haliru Bello, requested each state to nominate another seven members for possible consideration on baord appointments.

However, the request has caused serious disaffection in Oyo state where the list intend to submit and forward to National Headquarters was rejected since it was drawn up and favoured Akala’s faction alone leaving other stakeholders out of the game.
The two frontline nominees have intensified their loyalty to the party by holding meetings with several stakeholders in thier senatorial district to further strengthen their choice for the appointment while other contenders are unrelenting in reaching out to those who could jeopardize Akala’s list when it finally arrives Abuja.

According to a competent source, Akala and Jumoke Akinjide got a tacit enforcement from the former president Olusegun Obasanjo two weeks ago after a meeting in Otta farm where all the state central working committee and party stalwart were in attendance.
However, it was gathered that Akala and Akinjide had an overwhelming support of the party excos and local government party chairmen.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed source hinted National Daily that effort are in top gear to ensure that former governor and Accord Party governorship candidate in just concluded April 26 governorship election, Senator Rasheed Ladoja return to the party and his sponsored elected lawmakers in the state with an offer of ministerial appointment, there were series of phone calls made to him from Otta farm where he had attended a meeting with former president last weekend.

The plan which political analyst appraised as effort to form strong opposition against ACN in the state, but however, Senator Ladoja imbibed political silence on the issue while instructed his flowers who are mainly from Ibadan city to continue dialogue with PDP lawmakers elect on the choice of speaker ship at state house of Assembly aimed to checkmate governor elect under ACN platform.
The leader of coalition against second term bid of outgoing governor, Senator Lekan Balogun had earlier in the week sent a letter to Wadata House expressed disaffection on the choice of possible appointment list from oyo state, it was learnt that, the National secretariat of the party rejected the letter for not following the right protocol and against the lay down rules of petition and protest of the party, which directed all aggrieved members of the party to send their protest letter through local government and state executives respectively.

Unexpectedly, other factions in the party also followed the suit as serious meeting were held to ensure all inclusive government from Jonathan as far the party is concerned even those that worked against the party in the state during last general election wants share from Abuja cake within the next four years.

Uneasy calm in Kogi
Things are not at ease in kogi State over who becomes the minister from the state in the next four years of President Jonathan’s administration. This development is based on the fact that the president has already asked for nomination from both the party and the Governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris. A source at the party secretariat who confided in National Daily said the president actually demanded for the list of ministerial nominees from the state. “Yes we were asked to submit list of ministerial nominees and we have done so but what I would not want to comment on is who and who has been nominated” he said

A dependable source in government circle who would not want to be mentioned said Alhaji Idris is favorably disposed to the current Minister of Police, Affairs Mr Humphrey Abah. His reason for nominating him according to the source may not be unconnected with the role played by the minister while the case of tenure elongation involving him and four other governors lasted. It is actually a payback time.

The source further said some people from his immediate constituency, Igalamela/Odolu LGA have protested his inclusion in the list of nominees on the ground that the minister was involved in anti-party activity in the just concluded election. This according to our source may be his albatross should the governor give a listening ears.
But the press secretary to the Minister, James Odaudu who described the allegation as baseless, noted that the Minister as one of the founding member of the party remains consistent and has always been committed to the success of the party at all levels.

Speaking further, he said “the minister need not join words with people whose antecedents are well known” He was however optimistic that the minister will sail through the huddles.
The Minister of Justice and Anthony General Justice Bello Adoke according to an insider was not lucky to make the list from the state as he was said to be detached from the politics at the grass roots. National Daily investigation reveals that Adoke only managed to cast his vote only during the presidential election. His home front Okene was said to have also make overture to the governor to consider someone who is at home with the people. They were particularly angered by the ministers’ refusal to attend all the reception organized in his favour without any apology.

But one of the close associates of the minister who dismisses the claim said Adoke came into Jonathan cabinet through a different source in the first instance and so do not aspect the governor to include him in his purported list. Another source who would not want to be mentioned claimed an Igala governor will never nominate any other tribe as minister other than their own.
Another person who was also said to have made the list is the governorship flag bearer of PDP in the state Alhaji Isah Jibril Echocho. The governor according to our source took the measure to preempt his likelihood of loosing another primary should the situation arise.

Unlike what happened in the last dispensation where the governor was able to use senator Salihu Ohize representing kogi central to get the senate to clear his kins man Mr. Humphry Aban as minister, an independent source said there is going to be very stiff opposition this time around should the governor fails to give adequate consideration to kogi west and central.
National Daily check reveals that these two districts have been marginalized in terms of appointments both at federal and state levels.

It is however not clear if the likes of Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isah Kutepa who was robbed of the governorship ticket in the last primary, Chief Shola Akomode, Chief Shola Ojo, Ambassador Abubakar Amuda, the PDP chairman Comrade Hassan Salawu made the final list as earlier speculated.

In his own reaction the PDP state Auditor Mallam Suraj Suleiman denied any knowledge of the said list and even the inclusion of his principal comrade Hassan Salawu. “I am not aware that any list is being compiled not to talk of my oga’s name being included” he said.
One thing that is very clear is that the governor may not have an easy way given the combination of Senator Smart Adeyemi from west and Senator elect, Nurudeen Abatemi from central senatorial district.

Self First in Imo
The situation in Imo was still dicey at the week-end over Ministerial nominees. The incumbent Governor Ikedi Ohakim appears to be playing a “selfish role” over the 10 slots for nominees for Federal appointments from the state.
This is because, it was understood that Ohakim made the issue personal, by writing to President Goodluck Jonathan to seek “consideration for Ministerial appointment.”
National Daily investigations showed that no other nomination has emerged from the state chapter of the PDP in Owerri.

It is apparent that President Goodluck presently has a lot on his hands aside pressing national issues, before he assumes office, again, on May 29.Ministerial Slots Tear PDP Apart

WALE ELEGBEDE; COLLINS EKE; IBRAHIM OBANSA; SEYI OJELADE and CHUKWUEMEKA EZE

• State chapters break into factions • Defeated Govs, chieftains jostle for offices

THE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in the news again, just a few weeks after securing the most coveted slot in the last April General Elections: the Presidency; developments have shown that the largest ruling party in Africa is again struggling to harness this advantage and put it to a positive use.

Investigations revealed that internal crisis has gripped state chapters of the party over a directive from the National Working Committee for the submission of nominees for Ministerial Appointments. Also being expected for submission are nominees for appointment as Special Advisers and Members of Federal Boards and Parastatals. In all, each state chapter of the party is expected to send 10 nominees.

As a result, the chapters have broken into factions over the modalities to be applied in nominating candidates for the available posts.
National Daily findings showed that the most problematic states are where the incumbent governors, who might not be returning to their exalted offices, are still itching for Ministerial appointments.
Similarly, the issue of relevance forms the major stumbling block in selecting nominees in several states, most especially the Southern States, where the party stalwarts are interested in dictating the pace.

Prominent among incumbent governors, who are interested in ministerial appointments are, Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State and Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State.
Lagos in disarray
Barely three weeks after recording a woeful performance at the general elections, the Lagos State Chapter of the party may be heading for another round of crisis over the ministerial nomination list requested for by the Party’s National Body.

Findings revealed that internal wrangling within the party took a turn for the worse, days before the April 26 gubernatorial elections when it was clear that the party is on a wild goose chase against the Mr. Babatunde Fashola-led Action Congress of Nigeria. At one of the meetings, there was a war of words among the various groups represented at the party secretariat over the contribution of each faction especially the selection process of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Ade Dosunmu, who many party faithful described as a neophyte in politics. The mandate group, led by the former Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, was visibly docile and indifferent in the run-up to the party campaign owing to their discontentment on the choice of the former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a high-ranked chieftain in the party described the situation of Lagos PDP as pathetic. He opines that the different factions in the party have decided to embark on a winner-takes-all strategy at the expense of other groups.

According to him, though all the factions conceded to a compensation for the party’s gubernatorial candidate but there are fears that the Establishment Group where Dosunmu belong might eventually swallow all other positions if the state gets just only one Ministerial slot like it presently is. “Any of the group that gets the ministerial slot will definitely be calling the shot and don’t forget there are still other position up for grabs like ambassadorial, board members of agencies and parastatals. Also, don’t forget that Segun Aganga is performing well and he might like be retained by the President. So, the battle is getting tensed and everyone wants to recognition from the President.”
In his words: “When it was obvious that PDP can’t win in Lagos even before the election, some members of the party who though did not decamped openly have engaged in serious anti-party activities but now when they found out that Lagos will be presenting three ministerial nominee, they are now back setting up different bodies when in the actual sense it’s their selfishness that brought us to where we were.

Some of them even went as far as the PDP headquarters in Abuja to discredit the party, the leadership and the gubernatorial candidate and that is one of the reasons why we never get the needed fund from the headquarters to prosecute our programmes. We need to restructure this party by injecting fresh blood so as to favorably compete during the local government elections and 2015 general elections.”

Recently, state PDP Elders Council led by Chief Yomi Finnih set up a committee to carry out an in-depth study on the failure of the party in the state. The council mandates the committee to carry out a thorough assessment of the party’s performance during the general election. The council also tasks the committee to recommend the process of rebranding and reconciling the party for future election.

However, the Lagos PDP disowned the Finnih’s Elder’s Council. A statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Taofeek Gani, declared that loyal party members should be aware of the antics of a few “who never worked for the party but now are strategizing to widen their political coast”.
“For the umpteenth time, there is no institution, no committee, ad hoc or permanent, known as the Elders Council in the PDP’s Constitution. Dr Finnih is just an ordinary member of PDP, nothing more. Even here, we cannot vouch for his loyalty to the party because Dr. Finnih and his cohorts never contributed anything at all to PDP campaign in Lagos in the concluded elections,” he said.
Meanwhile, a coalition of PDP neutral members has called on the called on the national headquarters of the party to proscribe all caucuses in the state immediately.

The meeting, which was chaired by a member of the National Council of Jonathan Campaign Organisation for the just-concluded presidential election, Princess Gloria Adebajo-Fraser (MFR), suggested that, “all current leaders of the party should be constituted into an advisory council while new breed, experienced, unbiased and committed party members should preside, participate and direct the party in the restructuring process towards 2015.”

While condemning the irreconcilable differences among their party leaders which have inadvertently affected the fortunes of the party negatively, the members also call for the suspension of all appointments for the Lagos State Branch of the Party until the present internal crisis is resolved in the party.

Tension in Oyo
In Oyo state, the story is not different as the party big wigs especially those who loose in the just concluded general elections battle for the state choice of nominees list.
Leading the anointed and most favourable names to be sent for possible considerations in Abuja from the Pace-setter state is the outgoing governor who lost his second term bid to the opposition in South West, Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala and the daughter of his cure loyalist also lost Oyo Central senatorial seat to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Jumoke Akinjide, the third name debated between the son of late Ibadan political giant, Senator Kamoru Adedibu, the outgoing Senate leader, Teslim Folarin whose influence lies in presidency and senate only.

National Daily correspondent reliably gathered that, Akala had shuttled Ibadan Abuja trip trice in one week aimed to block any influence from Presidency and Senate where his opponents tends to coming against his list led by the senate leader. From all indication, the party had concluded plans to retain serving minister of sport, Prof Taoheed Adedoja based on his loyalty to the party and the outgoing governor.

It would be recalled in a letter signed by the acting National Chairman of the party, Dr Bello Haliru Bello, requested each state to nominate another seven members for possible consideration on baord appointments.

However, the request has caused serious disaffection in Oyo state where the list intend to submit and forward to National Headquarters was rejected since it was drawn up and favoured Akala’s faction alone leaving other stakeholders out of the game.
The two frontline nominees have intensified their loyalty to the party by holding meetings with several stakeholders in thier senatorial district to further strengthen their choice for the appointment while other contenders are unrelenting in reaching out to those who could jeopardize Akala’s list when it finally arrives Abuja.

According to a competent source, Akala and Jumoke Akinjide got a tacit enforcement from the former president Olusegun Obasanjo two weeks ago after a meeting in Otta farm where all the state central working committee and party stalwart were in attendance.
However, it was gathered that Akala and Akinjide had an overwhelming support of the party excos and local government party chairmen.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed source hinted National Daily that effort are in top gear to ensure that former governor and Accord Party governorship candidate in just concluded April 26 governorship election, Senator Rasheed Ladoja return to the party and his sponsored elected lawmakers in the state with an offer of ministerial appointment, there were series of phone calls made to him from Otta farm where he had attended a meeting with former president last weekend.

The plan which political analyst appraised as effort to form strong opposition against ACN in the state, but however, Senator Ladoja imbibed political silence on the issue while instructed his flowers who are mainly from Ibadan city to continue dialogue with PDP lawmakers elect on the choice of speaker ship at state house of Assembly aimed to checkmate governor elect under ACN platform.
The leader of coalition against second term bid of outgoing governor, Senator Lekan Balogun had earlier in the week sent a letter to Wadata House expressed disaffection on the choice of possible appointment list from oyo state, it was learnt that, the National secretariat of the party rejected the letter for not following the right protocol and against the lay down rules of petition and protest of the party, which directed all aggrieved members of the party to send their protest letter through local government and state executives respectively.

Unexpectedly, other factions in the party also followed the suit as serious meeting were held to ensure all inclusive government from Jonathan as far the party is concerned even those that worked against the party in the state during last general election wants share from Abuja cake within the next four years.

Uneasy calm in Kogi
Things are not at ease in kogi State over who becomes the minister from the state in the next four years of President Jonathan’s administration. This development is based on the fact that the president has already asked for nomination from both the party and the Governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris. A source at the party secretariat who confided in National Daily said the president actually demanded for the list of ministerial nominees from the state. “Yes we were asked to submit list of ministerial nominees and we have done so but what I would not want to comment on is who and who has been nominated” he said

A dependable source in government circle who would not want to be mentioned said Alhaji Idris is favorably disposed to the current Minister of Police, Affairs Mr Humphrey Abah. His reason for nominating him according to the source may not be unconnected with the role played by the minister while the case of tenure elongation involving him and four other governors lasted. It is actually a payback time.

The source further said some people from his immediate constituency, Igalamela/Odolu LGA have protested his inclusion in the list of nominees on the ground that the minister was involved in anti-party activity in the just concluded election. This according to our source may be his albatross should the governor give a listening ears.
But the press secretary to the Minister, James Odaudu who described the allegation as baseless, noted that the Minister as one of the founding member of the party remains consistent and has always been committed to the success of the party at all levels.

Speaking further, he said “the minister need not join words with people whose antecedents are well known” He was however optimistic that the minister will sail through the huddles.
The Minister of Justice and Anthony General Justice Bello Adoke according to an insider was not lucky to make the list from the state as he was said to be detached from the politics at the grass roots. National Daily investigation reveals that Adoke only managed to cast his vote only during the presidential election. His home front Okene was said to have also make overture to the governor to consider someone who is at home with the people. They were particularly angered by the ministers’ refusal to attend all the reception organized in his favour without any apology.

But one of the close associates of the minister who dismisses the claim said Adoke came into Jonathan cabinet through a different source in the first instance and so do not aspect the governor to include him in his purported list. Another source who would not want to be mentioned claimed an Igala governor will never nominate any other tribe as minister other than their own.
Another person who was also said to have made the list is the governorship flag bearer of PDP in the state Alhaji Isah Jibril Echocho. The governor according to our source took the measure to preempt his likelihood of loosing another primary should the situation arise.

Unlike what happened in the last dispensation where the governor was able to use senator Salihu Ohize representing kogi central to get the senate to clear his kins man Mr. Humphry Aban as minister, an independent source said there is going to be very stiff opposition this time around should the governor fails to give adequate consideration to kogi west and central.
National Daily check reveals that these two districts have been marginalized in terms of appointments both at federal and state levels.

It is however not clear if the likes of Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isah Kutepa who was robbed of the governorship ticket in the last primary, Chief Shola Akomode, Chief Shola Ojo, Ambassador Abubakar Amuda, the PDP chairman Comrade Hassan Salawu made the final list as earlier speculated.

In his own reaction the PDP state Auditor Mallam Suraj Suleiman denied any knowledge of the said list and even the inclusion of his principal comrade Hassan Salawu. “I am not aware that any list is being compiled not to talk of my oga’s name being included” he said.
One thing that is very clear is that the governor may not have an easy way given the combination of Senator Smart Adeyemi from west and Senator elect, Nurudeen Abatemi from central senatorial district.

Self First in Imo
The situation in Imo was still dicey at the week-end over Ministerial nominees. The incumbent Governor Ikedi Ohakim appears to be playing a “selfish role” over the 10 slots for nominees for Federal appointments from the state.
This is because, it was understood that Ohakim made the issue personal, by writing to President Goodluck Jonathan to seek “consideration for Ministerial appointment.”
National Daily investigations showed that no other nomination has emerged from the state chapter of the PDP in Owerri.

It is apparent that President Goodluck presently has a lot on his hands aside pressing national issues, before he assumes office, again, on May 29.