APC stakeholders protest imbalance in FG’s board appointments


The All Progressives Congress (APC) may be faced with fresh round of agitations following recent appointments, made by  President Muhammadu Buhari, into boards and management of some federal agencies and institutions.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last Thursday approved the appointment of Chief Executives for 23 federal government agencies.

But the appointments have come under criticism by some of the party men who felt that the selection process was not fair and equitable among the legacy parties that formed the APC.

Some aggrieved party members described the recent board appointments as lopsided in favour of two of the legacy parties, the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), which was President Buhari’s political party before the APC merger.

On the list of board appointments released last Thursday by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation were Julie Okah-Donli, Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons;  and Mary Ikpere-Eta, Director-General, National Centre for Women Development.

Others are Bayo Somefun, Managing Director, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund; Ahmed Dangiwa, Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank; and Alex Okoh, Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprise.

Other political appointees are Executive Secretary, Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, (PPPRA), Abdulkadir Umar; Conservator-General, National Park Service, Ibrahim Goni; and National Coordinator, Service Compact, SERVICOM, Nnenna Akajemeli.

The statement signed by Director of Press in Office of the SGF, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi, named Nasir Ladan as the new Director-General, National Directorate of Employment; Saliu Alabi, Director-General, Michael Imodu National Institute for Labour Studies; and Jef Barminas, Director-General, National Research Institute for Chemical Technology.

Also on the list of approved appointments were Haruna Yerima who is to serve as the Director-General, Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research; Sunday Thomas, Deputy Commissioner, Nigeria Insurance Commission; Tunde Erukera, Executive Secretary, Consumer Protection Council; and Bello Tukur, Secretary, Federal Character Commission.

Mr. Dikko Abdulrahman was named the Director-General, National Pension Commission; Umar Jibrin, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority; Folashade Joseph, Managing Director, Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation; while Cecilia Gaya, was named the Director-General, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria.

Others appointments include Luci Ajayi, Executive Secretary, Lagos International Trade Fair Management Board; Emmanuel Jimme, Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority; Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director-General, Nigeria Lottery Regulation Commission; and Jalani Aliyu, Director-General, Nigeria Automotive Design and development Council.

The release of the appointments was seen as a welcome relief to many party members after many months of expectations from the Buhari-led administration.

However some of the stakeholders, especially those that belonged to the weaker political parties in the APC merger like Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and elements from the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) have kicked against it, complaining that they have been sidelined in the scheme of things.

A former National Auditor in the interim national executive of the APC, Chief Olisaemeka Akamukali, stated yesterday that his own group in the merger, the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) had been sidelined in the scheme of things.

He lamented that nobody from the DPP benefited from the board appointments announced by the Presidency last week.

“If you look at the whole appointments, you will see that it is tilted towards the president’s allies in the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). The message this is sending out is that other parties are not co-partaker in the APC project. Look at even the interim executive of the APC, does it reflect the true nature of the parties that formed the coalition.

“The committee set up by the president  has failed as far as I am concerned because as it stands now if all the appointments had been out, the tension would have been doused and those who did not get slots would have had a settled mind,” he said.

In the case of APGA elements in the APC, the party chieftain said that but for the spirited struggle by the governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, which led to the appointment of his man, Nyerere Anyim Nyerere, as commissioner in the Pensions Commission, the party would not have had any slot in the board appointments.

Another top party source who is member of  the presidential committee charged with the advisory role on board appointments, said the committee members were disappointed that their report was not reflected in the list of appointments made last week by  President Buhari.

“The list of those recently appointed to the management and boards of agencies and institutions did not in any way reflect the recommendations made by the committee. In fact most of the names are strange to our party,” he said.

On another count, newsmen investigation revealed that the national leadership of the party, was not consulted before the appointments were made.

One of the concerns being raised by the leadership of the ruling party was that the practice of appointing non-members to high political offices and without consulting the party is that beneficiaries of such appointments are alienated from the party.

A party leadership source gave instance of what happened recently when the party sought to have audience with members of the federal cabinet but was snubbed.

A top member of the party old newsmen that leadership of the party could not exercise any significant influence on the APC-led federal administration.

The politician who spoke to THISDAY on Saturday on condition of anonymity said that as things stand now, the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has been shut out by presidency .

He said that as far he is concerned, “Oyegun lost his relevance the moment he accepted the invitation to serve in the transition committee set up by President  Buhari, rather than remain on his desk to strategize and plan on how to engage the new administration, “he said.