The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Oyegun, has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari would look beyond his party to form the cabinet that would best help him deliver on his promises to Nigerians.
Mr. Oyegun, who stated this Monday in Abuja when he granted audience to journalists in his office, said contrary to insinuations, there is no disagreement between the party and Mr. Buhari on the issue of his cabinet.
“There is absolutely no dispute between the party and the president,” Mr. Oyegun said. “We agreed that we shall use all manner of people: politicians, technocrats, all manner of people, even if not politicians, who can deliver and who subscribe passionately to the agenda of the president, to move this country forward, irrespective of where the people come from; irrespective of whether the person is a card-carrying member of the party. What is important is the qualification of the person and the ability of the person to deliver on the ideas of Mr. President.”
He said the APC is only interested in the ability of the people to bring up the ideas that will help Mr. Buhari achieve his set objectives.
Mr. Oyegun also said forming the cabinet was an executive function and the president had the right to consult as widely as possible.
“This means he might pick people within the party; people outside the party,” he said. “It is a prerogative the president should exercise and we cannot question that. We are quite happy about the way he is proceeding.”
On the purported delay in the appointment of cabinet members, Mr. Oyegun said Mr. Buhari is taking his time to make sure only the right persons make it.
“The president is a very careful man,” he said. “He wants to be sure the kinds of people he will appoint are people who are passionate about the country.”
He said Mr. Buhari was currently conducting a thorough check on the background of the people he would appoint as ministers.
Mr. Oyegun also denied appointments are being delayed because of some party leaders, who are either signifying interest to be appointed themselves or vying for their cronies.
He noted the president has already stated that he belonged to everybody and to nobody. Mr. Oyegun urged Nigerians to be patient with the president who “does not want to make avoidable mistakes.”
NASS crisis over
The APC chairman also said the party was moving fast to resolve the crisis that followed the election of new leaders for the National Assembly in order not to allow the opposition take advantage and derail the plans of the APC.
“All the party has decided to do is to re-unify as quickly as possible our members in both chambers of the National Assembly under the existing realities,” Mr. Oyegun said. “This is because, if for instance, the president says he wants to present his list of ministerial nominees to the Senate, we don’t want a situation whereby the senate will be divided. So, we are trying to sort that out; it is our number one priority. We are happy that we are arriving at amicable settlement of the situation; this one cannot wait for long. It has to be immediately.”
Mr. Oyegun assured that “peace is on the way.”
He acknowledged that there was a problem within the APC family, adding however that, “we are moving quickly to resolve it”.
“As you can see, we are working hard to see that the leaders and rank and file don’t start throwing punches,” he said.
He also said the apparent “victory” recorded by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which seized the opportunity of the APC crisis to produce the deputy senate president is “temporal”.
The APC chairman also dispelled insinuations that he is angling to be named the secretary to the government of the federation.
“I have not in anyway, in capital letters and underlined, solicited for any position other than the national chairmanship of APC,” he said. “I think I am clear enough, isn’t it? And nobody has approached me that he is considering me either on that position or another.”