All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders across the country, including governors, are planning to gang up against the president over the choice of non-career ambassadorial nominees whose names were submitted last week by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for screening and confirmation, according to a Thisday report.
Complaining that they were completely alienated from the selection process which rendered them inconsequential in the power equation in their home zones, the aggrieved APC chieftains have vowed to frustrate the proposed ambassadors whose nomination did not represent the reality and endorsement of party leaders in their states.
The aggrieved leaders and their respective governors might have concluded plans to frustrate the screening exercise through their representatives in the Senate “because this disregard for party leadership and supremacy must stop,” said a source in government who is also a chieftain of the APC.
The report claimed that a few may end up the way of some nominated members of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, who were recently not confirmed by the Upper Chamber following the plethora of petitions against the nominees to the board of the regional commission.
According to the report, the disappointment was said to have been more pronounced in the South-west geopolitical zone, where majority of the APC leaders claimed complete ignorance of the persons appointed from their respective states.
It cited an instance with Ekiti State where the nominee, Ayodele Ayodeji, is said to be unknown to all the three former governors of the party, who are prominent members of the APC, in addition to the fact that he just finished serving the country as the Ambassador to Greece, thus negating the understanding that anyone who was once an ambassador would not be qualified under the current dispensation.
Also, in Osun and Oyo States, the governors were said to be unaware of how the nominees from their states were shortlisted, in the same manner Buhari had surprised them during the ministerial appointments by not consulting with any of the party leaders.
Adegboyega Ogunwusi, the elder brother of the Ooni of Ife in Osun State and Ashimiyu Olaniyi were nominated without consultations with Governors Rauf Aregbesola and Abiola Ajimobi of Osun and Oyo States, respectively.
The newspaper quotes the source as saying: “This is the same thing the wife of the president, Aisha, was talking about. These same people are the ones who drafted the list as they wanted and pushed it through without consulting anyone.
“Even in Ogun State where the governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, is assumed to be very close to the president, was said to have had no say in the choice of nominee from the state, as Ade Asekun was said to have been nominated by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo,” even though the Ogun governor may not have a problem with that.
The choice of Justice George Oguntade from Lagos was said to have been entirely the decision of the president, because it was seen as compensation for the retired Supreme Court justice’s minority report in 2008 when Buhari challenged the outcome of the presidential election that the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua won in 2007.
The newspaper gathered that other ambassadorial nominees were decided by the presidency, with sources adding that it is for this reason aggrieved leaders of the party have vowed to turn to the Senate to assert their place in a government they helped to install.