….as Labour Chairman blames Tinubu’s exclusion for Buhari’s failure.
By Ayo Fadimu
The new pact between President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is giving many ministers and heads of departments, agencies and government parastatals sleepless nights, Nigerian NewsDirect has learnt.
Few weeks ago, President Buhari alongside Tinubu attended the 5th African Union-European Union Summit which took place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. The two leaders boarded the same aircraft to Abidjan.
Speaking on Asiwaju at a meeting with Nigerians in Abidjan who are mostly indigenes of Osun state in Southwest, the president said the APC national leader brought him “a beautiful piece of information” of which he had been oblivious.
A source close to the former Lagos State governor said Tinubu had handed the piece of information to the Nigerian leader right inside the Nigerian Airforce plane taking them to Abidjan. Buhari did not disclose the nature of the information Asiwaju gave him. “I also thank our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He has brought me a very beautiful piece of information, which I was not aware of until I sat down and read it this evening . Thank you very much for your hard work and I will discuss that paper with you,” he said.
An impeccable source informed Nigerian NewsDirect that a major part of the new pact is for him to have the power to nominate ministers and board members, especially of juicy parastatals.
Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that Tinubu had told the President point blank that some Ministers were under-performing in his cabinet and they needed to be changed with Ministers with fresh ideas that could help the President to deliver on his promises to Nigerians.
Recently, Tinubu, at a book launch in Abuja had told the President that Nigerians are hungry and angry and implored the President to work harder on his economic policies.
“It is certain that Buhari needs Asiwaju to help him bring new set of people with workable ideas into the government” a close aide of Tinubu told Nigerian NewsDirect
The President had also hinted about cabinet reshuffle during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of APC. According to Buhari, the “compressed Federal Executive Council will be expanded to bring in more supporters at Federal Level, with fresh ideas to be injected into the government”.
Last year, I said we would re-constitute the boards of parastatals. I must regret the fact that we have not done so, for many reasons. “Some of us in this meeting may know I had given instructions since October 2015 for this exercise to start. But there have been inordinate delays through several Committees in an attempt to get the balance right and to make sure all parts of the country are equitably represented. “On the other hand, I am keenly aware that our supporters are very eager for these appointments to be announced. By the Grace of God, these appointments will be announced soon. Especially now that the economy is improving, we will have the resources to cater for the appointees,” he said.
In the meantime, many Ministers and head of parastatals are panicking as their posts may be affected in the exercise.
A source said many had started making peace with Asiwaju while some were trying to still be in his good books.
“Although, no one knows the number of slots that will be conceded to Asiwaju by the President but many of the slots allocated to the Southwest will be filled by him”
In an interview, a close confidant of Tinubu and former member of House of Representatives, Hon Abiodun Abudu-Balogun told Nigerian NewsDirect that time has come that people will know Asiwaju is not an ordinary person you mess up with.
“Asiwaju is not an ordinary person to mess up with, he is tested and trusted”, the former deputy chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Internal Security who represented Ijebu North, Ijebu East and Ogun Waterside in the 7thAssembly told our Correspondent.
Nigerian NewsDirect investigation revealed that most of the slots to be given to Tinubu will be economy-related as the economy is in bad shape.
“The President knows that if the economic problems persist till 2019, it will be difficult to market APC to Nigerians, that is why Tinubu is invited to bring Lagos magic to play at the national level’ Nigerian NewsDirect learnt.
However, the new National Chairman of Labour Party Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam blamed the failure of Buhari’s administration on distancing of the former Governor of Lagos state Ahmed Tinubu from participating in key decision-making relating to appointments.
He attributed failure of Buhari’s administration for want, poverty, penury and hunger. “ There is poverty in the land, everybody is hungry. There in the land, everybody is angry and despite the popular position of the government that Nigeria has exited recession, everybody in the country is hungry,” he said.