By Ifeanyi Izeze
Just few days in office as the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressive People’s Congress APC, Adamu Oshiomole is fast proving himself as another tragic mistake in Buhari’s damage limitation and conflict resolution power calculation. Why is this man taking himself more seriously than anybody in his party takes him? What is Oshiomole in a hurry to prove? It is not clear to the Presidency that at the rate he is going, he is only worsening the president’s political woes or rather blurred feats?
The last thing the President and the APC in their current tribulations need now is a dishonourable and caustic attack dog. The President and his party’s rescue mission would have been better off with a cool-headed and, non-mordant strategist/organiser who should think far more than he talks rather than this area boy power drunk muscle flexor.
The APC National Chairman should actually bury his head in shame that despite all his round tripping to aggrieved top party members, he is yet to dissuade one single person to change his mind from quitting the ruling party. Everybody he visited so far has now gone to the other side and this should be worrying to him.
Where in a presidential system of government across the world does a party leader lead the government? It’s only in Nigeria under President Buhari that you can find a party leader give executive directive to a minister not on issues bordering on party affairs, but on purely administrative and governance issue.
The problem with most of the people in power in this country is their ignorance of how a democratic government works. Who is the Chairman of the Republican Party in the USA, or the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, or the ruling party in France? This is largely an administrative position. It’s only in this our funny country that someone not elected threatens people appointed by someone elected by the country.
Does it not occur to the APC National Chairman that his crude directive or rather threat on a national television to the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, is seriously damaging to the Office of The President and to the party as it effectively announced that the man elected as President is ineffective and an invalid who does not know what to do and how to do what should be done? So because we have an invalid president, the action boy that was handpicked by the Lagos warlord will step in to help the president control the Government? And he even said it with his mouth! Walai at the rate Oshiomole is going on this his new job, he will crash very quickly. Mark my word!
By the way, why is Oshiomole spitting fire and brimstone against the Labour Minister over parastatal’s Board appointments? Is the National Social Insurance Trust Fund the only parastatal that the supervising minister is yet to constitute its Board? What makes NSITF so special to the APC chairman? I will tell you!
Oshiomole was a member of one of the Boards of NSITF that is currently being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
From Ngige’s response to the National Chairman’s executive order, discerning minds would see that there is something in this matter beyond the surface of it.
Extracts from Ngige’s reply to Oshiomole said: “Our National Chairman, I am in receipt of a letter referenced APC/NHDQ/GEN-S/28/018/003 dated July 11, 2018, which was sent from your Office and received by me on July 12, 2018.
“Ordinarily I would not believe the letter was from you except for the barrage of media statements that came before I saw the letter. I read the contents of this letter with both amazement and utter disbelief.
“Firstly, it is not true that I did refuse/neglect to inaugurate members of the re-constituted boards of parastatals and agencies under the supervision of my ministry as alleged in your letter. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has four parastatals namely – the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), National Productivity Centre (NPC), and Michael Imoudu Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS). Boards of the latter three agencies have been re-constituted and members were inaugurated on March 8, 2018, in conformity with a presidential directive.’’
“I am sorry that I will be unable to accede to your ‘directives’ to inaugurate all the boards within one week as the ministry had already inaugurated the aforementioned three boards but will in this case of the NSITF adhere to the work plan on the NSITF as approved by the president who is the head of the government of the Federation.’’
Remarkably as said by the Minister, “I am not oblivious of the fact that you are a very interested party in the matter because having served as chairman of the NSITF board, before the last board and as a former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president, you would be interested in the tripartite colouration of the board being maintained more so as labour still remains your base constituency.”
“The Administrative and Financial Panel of Enquiry has just concluded its work and presented its report. The board will be in place very soon in order to assist the implementation committee that is being put in place by the ministry to effect the various policy recommendations that are aimed at sanitizing the agency and strengthening the very weak Internal Audit System that allowed N5 billion to be taken out of this organisation in one single day without voucher(s)
Can Oshiomole claim ignorance of the fact as explained by the Labour minister that all the three other boards under the ministry are currently operational, except that of the NSITF, which before the order from the APC chairman, had been enmeshed in major issues of corruption, involving about N48 billion, comprising federal government and employers’ contributions to the employees’ compensation fund plus some non-remitted PAYE taxes, which were carted away through well perfected sleaze operation?
If APC is still serious with itself, the party should seriously re-educate it’s new National Chairman on non- caustic engagements. Tell him that being cantankerous is only an insignificant part of his new assignment. The job requires more of brain work and tact in friendly engagement than dambe wrestling. God bless Nigeria!
IFEANYI IZEZE writes from Abuja: [email protected]; 234-8033043009