Lull in Ministries As Buhari Yet to Replace Amaechi, Onu, Others, Despite Promising ‘Speed’
- President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to replace the ministers who resigned from his cabinet to contest the primaries of the ruling APC
- This development by the president has however affected the free flow of activities in the ministries
- Meanwhile, the president had earlier noted that the replacement of the ministers would be done without delay, a pledge he is yet to fulfill thirty-nine days after
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Thirty-nine days after, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to replace ministers who resigned from his cabinet to contest the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Daily Trust reports.
The development according to Daily Trust has slowed down the pace of activities in the affected ministries.
Following the delay, six states; Abia, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Ondo, Imo and Rivers are not represented in the Federal Executive Council. The 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provided that each of the 36 states is represented in the federal cabinet.
Six ministers resigned
Six ministers had resigned to contest for primaries of the APC, following a directive from the president at the council meeting. Before they left, the ministers had busied themselves campaigning for respective elective positions.
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Buhari had while speaking at a valedictory session for the ministers held on May 13 at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said replacement appointments would be made without delay.
Despite the president’s pledge, he is yet to make nominations to fill the vacant slots.
Lacuna in ministries
At the Ministry of Transportation, findings revealed that though the minister of state for transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki has been in charge since Amaechi’s departure, a source said there has been a lull in the activities in the ministry in recent times over the absence of a senior minister given the enormity of work in the ministry.
There is an uneasy calm among workers even as many of them strongly believe Amaechi would return to the cabinet.
A source in the ministry said:
“Senator Saraki has been doing her best. She was majorly in charge of maritime under Amaechi but now the entire transportation rests on her shoulder. Apart from Maritime, the Railway is there. We have various railway projects ongoing across the country.
“The Lagos-Ibadan railway is still undergoing some finishing touches, especially in the area of linking the network to Apapa. The Kaduna-Kano railway project is also there.”
Activities at the ministry affected
On Monday, June 20, Senator Saraki inspected the Apapa end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project where she said work is ongoing to remove some of the impediments delaying the connection of the route to the ports.
The scenario is said to be worse at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, where Onu held sway.
Legit.ng gathered that since Onu resigned, activities in the ministry had been virtually grounded.
A source at the ministry affirmed:
“Nothing had been happening here since the minister resigned. But last week, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Monilola Udo presided over one event, but nothing much is going on.”
The source who declined to have his name in print because he was not authorised to speak to the media added that activities at the agencies under the ministry were equally affected.
However, one of the top aides of the former minister confirmed to the newspaper that the minister, who represented Ebonyi state in the cabinet 'may be reappointed'.
“But I don’t know how far that information is true because he (Onu) has yet to inform any of us”, the aide who pleaded anonymity disclosed via phone on Monday, June 20.
President unreasonably slow - Dons
An associate professor of Political Sociology at the University of Abuja, Dr Abubakar Umar Kari, said the development was typical of the Buhari administration.
Also reacting, Professor Kamilu Sani Fage of Bayero University, Kano (BUK) disclosed the delay has spoken negatively about the reputation of the president.
The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, is yet to respond to the matter.
Meanwhile, a text message sent to the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on the matter was not responded to.
Lai Mohammed speaks
However, the minister had last Wednesday said President Buhari will fill the vacant positions in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the appropriate time.
“You asked about the cabinet. I think Mr President when he finds it appropriate, will fill the vacancies,” Mohammed said tersely and gave no further explanation.
Bola Tinubu responds to INEC on possibility of his running mate withdrawing, its implication
In another development, Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election has said that his running mate, Kabiru Masari, a former national welfare secretary of the party was duly nominated.
It was reported that Tinubu affirmed that contrary to reports in sections of the media, Masari could decide to step down if he so chooses.
The former Lagos state governor noted that should Masari decide to toe that line, it would be a breach of any known law, rules or regulation in the country.