The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari never intended to appoint ministers because his plan was to run a “monocracy”.
Speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh said the president will not respect his appointed ministers because they will be of no value to them.
Metuh said this in anticipation of the announcement of the ministerial nominees by president Buhari before the end of the month. The president, going by his repeated promises is expected to unveil the ministerial list latest by September 30.
But the PDP said the president’s promise to appoint ministers was made under duress, adding that he would prefer to rid alone.
“From his hesitancy and comments, it is deducible that President Buhari never intended to appoint ministers but rather prefers to run a monocracy and evidently does not value or respect those he would nominate as ministers,” Metuh said.
“Otherwise, how can anyone repackage the mindset of the president when he, in an interview with France 24 Television in France, stated categorically that his preference is to rule without a cabinet and denigrated ministers as ‘noise makers,’ and of no importance or value in the running of an administration?
“Given this worrisome outlook, it is obvious that the presidency would not attach any value or importance to the ministers under the ‘new sheriff.’ Could this also be part of the reason for the relentless onslaught against the National Assembly, which must be weakened and prevented from playing its constitutional role of checks and balances in the system?”
PDP also criticised the president and his entourage for failing to attend a meeting on Boko Haram and internally displaced persons at the ongoing United Nations summit.
“Whilst we reserve our comments on the numerous gaffes by the Nigerian delegation at the 70th United Nations general assembly meeting, we decry the huge embarrassment caused by the delegation’s dereliction of duty, profusely manifested in the snubbing of a crucial meeting where countries affected by Boko Haram insurgency sought international assistance for millions displaced by the scourge,” Metuh said.
“Whereas, other affected Chad basin countries were fully represented and had fruitful discussions with officials of the world body, the government of Nigeria, which has the biggest challenge of displaced persons, was nowhere to be found.
“Much more pathetic and shocking, but very revealing of the insincerity and ineptitude of those around the president was the disconcerting excuse by an aide of the president in trying to explain away this blunder.”
He added that instead of admitting failure and apologising to Nigerians, the presidency sought to hoodwink the public by claiming that the meeting was not one of the official events for which the president and his delegation were in New York, only for the official brochure of the meeting tagged, “High Level Event on the Lake Chad Basin”, to show that “high level representation from the government of Nigeria” was scheduled to make contributions at the meeting.
“Further reports indicate that due to the importance of that meeting, it was broadcast on United Nations’ official online television and radio channels, while officials of world bodies have continued to register their disappointment in our country due to the incompetence of the APC-led government,” Metuh said.
“It is disheartening to note that the same meeting the President Buhari-led delegation shunned actually yielded a fall out of $6.8 million announced by the United States as funding for regional aid efforts.
“If not for possible insensitivity to the plight of those affected by insurgency, what other reason has this government for its absence from such a crucial meeting aimed to find ways of bringing relief to its displaced citizens?
“This is especially as the delegation to the UN general assembly meeting achieved nothing, reminiscent of the July much hyped visit to the US, which also brought nothing but diplomatic disagreements, also due to the ineptitude of the APC-led federal government.
“Even more disturbing is the diplomatic mix-up, which resulted in the breach of protocol, crass ineptitude and monumental embarrassment in the late appearance of the president during the head of Vatican’s meeting with other world leaders.
“This is most damaging to the image of the country, especially as we note that the damage did not arise out of disrespect for the head of Vatican, the Pope but due to the incompetence of those around our beloved president.”