Buhari’s 30 days in office: All motion, no movement — PDP
Reviewing the actions and inactions of the administration in the first 30 days, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP called for prayers for an administration it claims has shown no movement or motion.
The party spoke through its spokesman, Chief Olisa Metuh.
“We urge Nigerians to join hands in prayers and offer useful suggestions to President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC because with what we have seen in the last 30 days, the present administration is finding it very difficult to get its bearings right while showing no inclination towards implementing its numerous campaign promises for which they were voted into office at the center.
“We are deeply worried that the President who promised to unveil his cabinet two weeks after his inauguration, has not been able to decide on key appointments such as ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), a Chief of Staff and advisers in key sectors of the economy.
“This is more so as the delay has brought government business in ministries, departments and agencies to a dangerous standstill with coordination of important policies vested on ministers and the SGF now in tatters while the system drifts. This situation also creates loopholes through which overzealous persons around that President can connive with unscrupulous elements in the bureaucracy to syphon public resources in addition to possibly misleading the President to violate due process by spending beyond and outside his statutory limits.
“The situation is taking its toll on the economy sector, which has in the 30 days witnessed unprecedented decline with a terrifying crippling of foreign and domestic investments including activities in the money and capital market sectors. Under President Buhari, the stock market has lost over N238 billion while the All-Share Index fell by 849.87 basis points as at June 19.
“In security, apart from the directive to relocate the counter terrorism command center to Borno state and seeking assistance from foreigners, no other concrete step has been taken in the fight against insurgency which the President in his April 22, 2015 CNN interview promised to end within his two months in office.
“Instead, the anti-terrorism effort has completely lost steam in the last 30 days, with insurgents, who had already been pushed to the verge of surrender in the Sambisa forest by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, now surging back and spreading into the country.
“In this regard, we urge the President to confront insurgency and issues of national security with all the vigour they deserve while calling for restrain from actions capable of destroying the fabrics of security intelligence. We also urge for adequate respect for all organs of internal security such as the Directorate of State Security (DSS), which is answerable to the Nigerian state and as such should not be publicly ridiculed by an aide of the President.
“In the same vein, we are disturbed by the ominous signals emanating from the atrocious attempt by the APC to undermine and appropriate the federal legislature resulting in the disruption of lawful proceedings and forced closure of the National Assembly, the symbol of our collective national identity as a democratic state. In this direction, we urge the Presidency and the APC to imbibe democratic tenets and respect the independence of that arm of government.
“Finally, while we remind the President and the APC that their campaign promises are bonds which must be fulfilled, we urge him to use the next ten days to set up his government by naming his ministers, the SGF and advisers in critical sectors as Nigerians did not vote for a sole administrator but for a democratic government”.
Nigeria - PUNCH reports that Ex President Olusegun Obasanjo's reconciliation of Senate President Bukola Saraki with aggrieved member of his party has hit a brick wall.
Saraki had during the week paid a well publicised visit to Obasanjo to seek his intervention in the crisis rocking the ruling party caused by his emergence as senate president.
However reports from PUNCH says the former president’s intervention has failed to yield the results desired by Saraki and his camp.
It was gathered that shortly after Saraki’s visit to the former president, Obasanjo made a telephone call to Buhari advising him to make up with Saraki. The former president had reportedly told the president to work with Saraki and let the party deal with all the disciplinary issues that the former governor of Kwara State had been accused of. However, the President was said to have been non-committal.
It is believed that the telephone call initiated by Obasanjo was not the first time the former president would intervene in the matter - Obasanjo had met with Buhari in South Africa, last Sunday, and sought his help in resolving the crisis in the ruling party.
He was in Zambia for the 22nd annual general meeting of the African Export-Import Bank, had travelled from there to South Africa to meet with President Buhari.
However the party's chiefs are still not in accord with the senate president, PUNCH says.
Amid public outcry over President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in announcing his choice of ministers, the Presidency has begged Nigerians to be patient.
Shortly before his May 29 inauguration, Buhari had reportedly rejected plans by governors of the All Progressives Congress the party leadership in the states to submit ministerial nominees to him.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media, Garba Shehu, in an interview with Sahara TV on Saturday, argued against comparing Buhari’s government to such states as Kaduna and Rivers, which have appointed some commissioners.
According to Shehu, following the 2011 elections, many South-West governors took several months to form their governments.
He said, “The President did say he would hit the ground running, but he has not been given the chance to hit the ground running because the administration that he succeeded — the Jonathan administration — did not deliver the handover notes until two or three days to the inauguration, meaning that these handover notes were submitted at a time when everyone had been consumed by (inauguration) activities.
“Unfortunately, there was no time to look at them until after the President had been inaugurated. The President was left in the dark. He had to understand what the situation was and what was on the ground. That was why he set up a different transition committee. It was only this week that the committee, led by Dr. Ahmed Joga, scrutinised the handover notes and handed over the report to him (Buhari).
“To be fair to him, he would have hit the ground running if the previous government had handed over the notes early. However, the Jonathan government did not even permit any minister to interact in any way with the Buhari Transition Committee. Evidently, we had our hands tied behind our backs until we took over. Thus, there is nothing shady about it.”
Shehu explained that the ministerial appointments had yet to be made because the committee needed to conclude its findings first, an 800-page report of which was presented to Buhari on Friday.
On Wednesday, there was speculation that the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was prevented from attending Buhari’s meeting with the National Security Adviser on the orders of the President.
The Vice-President was reportedly denied security clearance to attend the meeting because of security reasons by the President.
In his response, the SSA said, “That is the creation of someone who just wanted to write something. It was on the same day he travelled to Sudan to represent the President, the government and the people of Nigeria at the inauguration of the president of that country.
“He couldn’t have been present in two places at the same time. Osinbajo is the Vice-President of Nigeria. In the absence of the President, he is the President. So, there cannot be dark corners into which he will not be allowed. It is not true.”
Speaking on the National Assembly crisis, the presidential spokesperson expressed conviction that the party with the majority, the All Progressives Congress, and the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, would coexist harmoniously.
On Tuesday, against the directive of the APC, Senator Bukola Saraki was elected unopposed as President of the 8th Senate. Fifty-one senators, include the party’s preferred candidate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, were absent. Saraki and Lawan have been engaged in a fierce contest to clinch the Senate top job.
The other senators were at the International Conference Centre, on the invitation of Buhari, who had called the meeting to resolve the National Assembly leadership crisis, at the time Saraki was declared Senate President.
Speculation had trailed Buhari’s absence at a peace meeting, with some arguing that Buhari favoured Saraki.
However, Shehu said, “It is a matter of courtesy that the office of the President would be given that respect. The PDP, which issued a statement saying the delay had embarrassed the country, should be asked: How many times have they suspended the plenary of the National Assembly, either the Senate or the House of Representatives, to go into the PDP caucus?
“A party needs to meet to organise itself and it can’t be taken for granted. Buhari could not have failed in wanting to meet his party members in order to convey an important message to them. And he has not allowed that chance because at the time when he was setting out to go, the National Assembly they had begun voting, hence the mission was aborted.
“The fact that he said he would work with the National Assembly (leadership) is consistent with his position as a principled democrat. It is a body recognised by law that is independent of his control. He cannot control them. They carried out a constitutional process and he will work with them.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.