The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is impressing on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that only members who have been faithful to the party are appointed into executive positions, THISDAY learnt yesterday.
The president has already asked his ministers to hand in their handover notes by tomorrow in preparation for the dissolution of the cabinet.
Buhari’s second term begins on May 29 and there are indications that he would waste no moment in constituting a new cabinet.
A top party source said yesterday that the party is insisting that it will no longer be business as usual, saying a situation where those who worked hard for the party’s victory will be sidelined by others will not be allowed to happen again.
The source said the national leadership of the party had decided to work with those at the state level to compile and screen those to be recommended for appointment by the president in the next administration.
According to the party’s source, all those scrambling for appointments may not find it “easy now as the president may not entertain any lobby except that coming from the party after due consideration on the credibility and status of the person and the role played during the elections.”
Regarding the cases of those who allegedly worked against the party’s interests during the last general election, the source said the NWC is also compiling their offences and would make recommendations to the NEC meeting.
He said the NWC has vowed that it would seek the approval of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for sanctions against top leaders like Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, who allegedly engaged in anti-party activities during the just concluded general election.
Also, as part of an assessment of the scorecard of the party in the last elections, the leadership has decided to compile cases of anti-party activities committed by its members before, during and after the election with a view to recommending necessary sanctions against them.
The issue of acts of sabotage against the party’s interests was said to have contributed to the abysmal performance of the party, especially the losses it recorded in states where it previously controlled.
THISDAY gathered that the party leadership has planned to convene its NEC meeting in June, after the inauguration of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term administration, where it hopes to address the cases of anti party activities once and for all.
Another source said that in the lead up to the formation of the ninth National Assembly leadership, the leadership of the party is taking the issue of those opposing its choice of candidates very serious and may wait for the opportunity of the NEC meeting to punish such recalcitrant members.
“The APC national chairman and the NWC are studying several allegations brought against some members of the party and unless the affected individuals are found innocent or try to make amends between now and the next NEC meeting, the party will most likely recommend them for sanctions,” he said.
Already Amosun and Okorocha have been suspended for alleged anti-party activities.
The NWC also suspended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani and the Director-General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu.
Although the affected members of the party have denied receiving any official communication on the suspension order, APC said the decision was reached at a meeting of the party’s NWC, presided by Oshiomhole at the APC National Secretariat.
The NWC had also said that it took a decision to recommend the suspended individuals to the NEC for expulsion.
The NWC also issued a query to the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, over his alleged anti-party activities, which greatly affected the fortunes of its candidates in the recently-conducted presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.
When contacted on telephone by THISDAY to either confirm or deny the rumoured suspension of Akeredolu, yesterday, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Isa-Onilu said he was not aware of the decision to suspend the Ondo State governor