ABUJA, OCTOBER 25, 2016 – Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday held an emergency meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja over the choice of nominees for non-career ambassadors.
Most of the 23 governors and leaders of the governing party are angry with the president for excluding them in the selection of 46 nominees whose names are currently with the Senate for confirmation. At the meeting, the governors expressed reservations over the lopsidedness in the federal appointments made by the president.
It was learnt that each of the governors will now write the president formally, stating clearly their view on the ambassadorial appointment and other previous federal appointments for consideration. No specific time frame has, however, been given on when such letters would reach the presidency on the matter.
Our correspondent gathered that complaints from APC governors vary from outright rejection of their nominees for appointment or non-consultation for their input in the selection process. Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State said the aggrieved APC governors have agreed to respectively write to the president for a re-consideration of their nominees.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, which lasted for about four hours, the Plateau State governor explained that the issue of the ambassadorial appointments featured prominently during the meeting with the president.
Lalong said: “So all the states that had complaints are going to put it in writing and the president promised he is going to look into it.” He noted that former deputy governor in his state, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, rejected her nomination as ambassador based on principles in line with the political disposition of the state.
Lalong said he had already complained to the president that appointment into federal positions from the state should not be concentrated in one particular zone. “Now we are approaching Mr. President to consider fairness and appoint people from those areas that do not have representation,” he said.
In his remarks, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State told reporters that the emergency meeting with the president also discussed the successes made in fighting the Boko Haram sect and the recent release of 21 Chibok girls kidnapped over two years ago.
On the hardship being faced by Nigerians as the economy remains in recession, Okorocha said although the problem was not created by the APC, government takes full responsibility for the economic crisis. He said: “There is no surgery that is not painful.
Nigeria is going through a very serious economic surgery and that is the pains we are experiencing. “We share the pains of Nigerians; every human being must feel it. We also feel what they are going through, but we are asking for a little patience, let us do things the right way and do it once and for all.
“This was not a problem brought by APC government, it is a problem that has existed long before APC came to government and we are only trying to clear the mess of the past. “But we must take responsibility and we must never shift the responsibility to anybody.
For everything happening in Nigeria, we are responsible.” Okorocha assured that by next year, things would begin to take shape. “The price of rice will drop, prices of dollars will begin to stabilise and we will see a lot of changes.
He said the governors also reported to Mr. President that his agriculture policy was producing result. “This time around, we have bumper harvest in most parts of the country in rice production and other things. So, that policy should be sustained.
“And the funding policy by CBN, the anchor borrowers should be encouraged because it is yielding results. In the next couple of years, Nigeria would be self-sufficient in agriculture and would not need to import anymore food products into this country.” According to him, Buhari was also encouraged to continue with the war against corruption.
The governors, he disclosed, considered the forth-coming governorship election in Ondo State with the view to strategising to win at the poll. “Ondo is coming back to APC and we would do all we can. These were some of the things we discussed,” he stressed.