- …As Perm Sec says Aisha Buhari is right on Aso Rock clinic
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Federal Executive Council would be expanded to bring in more supporters of the APC as appointees as a sad reminder that Nigeria is now under a “chop-I-chop” government of settlement.
The governor called on those who left the Peoples Democratic Party for the APC to return.
He referred to a statement reportedly made by the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), that the ruling APC could not fulfil its promises because more than 50 per cent of the positions in Buhari’s government were being held by members of the PDP.
Fayose said the statement,” was a direct and clear way of telling those who left the PDP for the APC that they were sojourning in a land where they were seen as strangers.”
He stated this in a statement on Thursday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka.
The governor said it was sad that while people were still facing the heat of the economic recession with foodstuffs and drugs out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians, the President was only concerned with settling his party members.
“Since those who manipulated votes for President Buhari, especially in the North, had already been settled with our collective wealth, it appears that it is now the turn of those they believed will assist them to retain power in 2019.
“If President Buhari could acknowledge that he had been working with a trimmed cabinet to avoid waste, one wonders the improvement that he has brought to bear on the country’s economy to warrant his new decision to expand the Federal Executive Council to bring in more supporters of the APC and settle the party members with other federal appointments.”
On Ali’s comment that the PDP members were holding 50 per cent position in Buhari’s government, Fayose said it would be nice to have members who left for the APC back in the PDP.
“Even though the PDP is already emerging stronger from its 2015 electoral misfortune, we won’t mind having our members who left for the APC back in our party.
“Going by Col. Ali’s comment, those who do not belong to President Buhari’s original platform, the Congress for Progressive Change, are seen as strangers in the Buhari-led government.
“Buhari’s men do not want anyone else, apart from those with whom they ran the CPC and that has been reiterated by Col. Ali, a close ally of the President. What remains to be done by those Col. Ali referred to as reasons the APC government of Buhari has failed is for them to summon courage and return to where they were before they moved to the APC.”
In the meantime, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, Mr. Jalal Arabi, admitted on Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, was right on her recent comments on the poor state of the State House Medical Centre.
Aisha had said the hospital lacked basic provisions, including syringes and expressed disappointment that a facility designed to cater for the needs of the first family could be left in that condition.
“A few weeks ago, I was sick as well. They advised me to take the first flight out to London; I refused to go. I said I must be treated in Nigeria because there is a budget for an assigned clinic to take care of us. If the budget is N100m, we need to know how the budget is spent.
“Along the line, I insisted they call Aso Clinic to find out if the X-ray machine was working. They said it was not working. They didn’t know I was the one that was supposed to be in that hospital at that very time.
“I had to go to a hospital that was established by foreigners 100 per cent. What does that mean?
“So, I think it is high time we did the right thing. If something like this could happen to me, there is no need for me to ask the governors’ wives what is happening in their states.
“This is Abuja and this is the highest seat of government, and this is the Presidential Villa,” Aisha reportedly said at a two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
The development had prompted the House of Representatives to pass a resolution to probe how the N10.9bn allegedly released to the clinic between 2015 and 2017 was spent.
An ad hoc committee of the House chaired by Mr. Aliyu Magaji, opened the hearing on Thursday in Abuja.
The permanent secretary confirmed to the committee that the clinic was indeed in a deplorable state.
Magaji asked him, “We take it that the President’s wife is right?” The permanent secretary responded, “I can’t say that the First Lady is wrong.”
However, he took time to explain to the committee that the problem was caused by inadequate funding of the clinic over the years.
He also dismissed the report that N10.9bn was released to the clinic between 2015 and 2017.
Contrary to the figure quoted publicly, the permanent secretary told the committee that the total allocation to the clinic in the three years was about N3.5bn.
Citizen with additional report from Punch