- As APC chief, Balarabe Musa tackles Jonathan
The main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was not in charge of the country.
It said actions taken by the Acting President had shown that power was not handed over to him contrary to the claim by the Presidency that ailing President Muhammadu Buhari ceded power to him (Osinbajo) before leaving Nigeria for London on medical trip more than 90 days ago.
Spokesperson for the party, Dayo Adeyeye, who spoke with one of our correspondents on Sunday, wondered why the Acting President had refused to assign portfolios to the two ministers that were sworn in more than two weeks ago.
Adeyeye, who was a former minister of state for works, observed that the action of the Acting President indicated that he was just a figurehead.
He said, “The Acting President is not in charge of the country. He is not in charge of anything. This is why nothing is moving forward.
“How do you explain a situation where two of the ministers who were sworn in after much pressure from the people and the National Assembly have not been assigned portfolios?
“He is not in charge. He is a mere figurehead and cannot do anything. The cabals are still in charge. That is why nothing is moving forward in this country.
“The two ministers are just idle. They have no offices, nowhere to resume to and nothing to do. What is the essence of their being sworn in then? They are ministers without portfolios.
“It is a constitutional breach on the side of the government because each state ought to have a minister each. Now, these two states had been without ministers for long and after you reluctantly appointed them, you refused to give them offices. “
The ministers are Prof. Stephen Ocheni from Kogi State and Mr. Suleiman Hassan from Gombe State.
Twenty days after Osinbajo administered the oath of office on the ministers, they have yet to be assigned portfolios.
Ocheni and Hassan were inaugurated on July 26, 2017, in Abuja.
Their inauguration came after another long delay since May when they were screened and cleared by the Senate.
It also took a resolution and an ultimatum issued by the House of Representatives for the ministers to be inaugurated.
Adeyeye said it was apparent that the All Progressives Congress was not ready to rule, adding that it won the 2015 presidential election in error.
He asked Nigerians to be patient, adding that 2019 would soon come when new elections would be held.
In the meantime, the National Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (South-East), Chief Emma Eneukwu, and a former governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, have berated former President Goodluck Jonathan over his claim that his government had good economic programmes.
Jonathan had, at the Non-Elective National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party held in Abuja on Saturday, said his government had a sound economic team.
He recalled that in 2012, there were flood disasters in many parts of the country, stressing that the floods damaged homes and farmlands on the plains of River Niger and River Benue, adding that despite the devastating effects of the natural disaster, there were no food shortages or arbitrary increase in prices.
On the economic front, he said his government provided focused leadership through institutional reforms which he said impacted positively on the fundamentals for growth, especially in the last four years of his time in power.
But Eneukwu, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, accused the former President of throwing the country into a mess.
He said, “Even a blind man in Nigeria knows that (Goodluck) Jonathan threw this country into a mess. Billions and billions of naira are being refunded and found in private houses. Is the money not being refunded by people who served under Jonathan?
“The man shouldn’t talk, he should bury his head in shame; his administration is almost the worst I can think of. He never checked people who worked under him; it was free-for-all corruption.”
Also commenting on Jonathan’s statement, Balarabe Musa, said past presidents, including Goodluck Jonathan, played on Nigerians’ short memories.
Describing Jonathan’s handling of the economy as worse, Balarabe said, “Of course, Nigerians have short memories. What is our attitude to all the former presidents, particularly as to how they handled our economy?
“We seem not to have realised that they did less than the present. They are now heroes in a way. They are almost now gloating and trying to decide the fate of the country.
Citizen with additional report from Punch