The Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, have rejected President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s offer to opposition governors, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), LP and others, to nominate individuals for board appointments.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, disclosed at a meeting of the forum that Tinubu asked the governors to nominate competent persons to serve in the boards and parastatals of Federal Government agencies which were dissolved last month.
No fewer than 2,000 vacant positions on the boards are expected to be filled by new nominees following Tinubu’s dissolution of the governing boards of over 153 agencies, parastatals, institutions and government-owned companies.
Notable agencies include the North-East Development Commission with 12 vacant board slots, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission with seven board seats; Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, seven; Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, 21; Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, 12; National Universities Commission, 21 and Transmission Commission of Nigeria, 14; National Health Insurance Authority,12
Others are the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau, 7; Nigerian Meteorological Agency, seven; Nigerian College of Aviation Technology,8; Nigerian Police Trust Fund, 8; Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency,10; Federal Institute of Industrial Research, 11 and National Centre for Technology Management, 11.
Also on the list are the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, 11; Nigerian Customs Service, 11; National Pension Commission, 17; National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons, 11; National Identity Management Commission, 19; West Africa Examination Council, 8; Niger Delta Development Commission, 13; National Institute of Sports,12; Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company,12; National Bureau of Statistics,15; Federal Inland Revenue Services, 15; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, 8 and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency,7, among others.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the NGF meeting on Wednesday, Governor Abdulrazaq said the members of the forum resolved to commend the President for extending an opportunity to the governors to nominate board members across the party lines.
The Chief Spokesman for Obi-Datti Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, while reacting to Tinubu’s offer of board slots to the governors across party lines, described it as a ‘gimmick’ to lure the opposition governments and chieftains into the ruling party.
He told bellnews that such a subtle move “will not change the fact that Tinubu’s presidency is an illegitimate government.’’
He said, “APC is doing everything in their crooked book to ensure they legitimize this government, which we have resisted vehemently. We will only do what is rightfully ours when the court makes its decision and pronouncement.
‘’But as far as we are concerned, every attempt we see them do is a means to cajole people to believe and legitimize their government. That is the truth about it.’’
He added, “Sending letters to state governors is part of the process of legitimizing their governance, which we are resisting.
At the moment, LP has only one governor. The belief is that the governor may likely dance to their tune.
“But the truth about it is that will the APC tell you they don’t have party people in Abia State that they can nominate? Why must they go through the governor to do so? What they are aiming to do is to indirectly co-opt him into their party. That’s the truth.”
On his part, Peter Obi’s media aide, Tai Emeka Obasi, said as much as what the president is attempting to do appears positive, it is not enough to legitimise his government.
“It is obviously a gimmick. Of course, you know the man (Tinubu) and the problem he is facing in court. It is easy for one to see what he is trying to do even though it looks positive though.
“But again, the oppositions are not fools. As we are concerned, we still see his government as an interim one,” he concluded.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, said, “I am not even aware that the President has asked the governors to make their nominations to the boards of parastatals.
‘’I have not spoken with the PDP governors and until I do so, it would not be appropriate to make a comment on this on behalf of the party.”
Also speaking, the PDP presidential candidate in the last election, Atiku Abubakar said a reaction is unnecessary.
Speaking through his media aide, Mr Paul Ibe, the former Vice President said, “It is not within our purview to react to issues like this. So, no comment”