The Labour Party (LP) and its standard bearer in the last presidential election, Peter Obi, have kicked against the offer of board slots to state governors, including those elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Labour Party (LP), by President Bola Tinubu.
Kwara State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, disclosed at a meeting of the forum in Abuja on Tuesday night that the President asked the governors to nominate competent persons to serve in the boards and parastatals of Federal Government agencies, which were dissolved last month.
Tinubu announced the dissolution of the governing boards of over 153 agencies, parastatals, institutions, and government-owned companies. The dissolved boards were among the 209 constituted by former President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2017. No fewer than 2,000 vacant positions on the boards were expected to be filled by new nominees.
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.
“According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, every United States dollar invested in risk reduction and prevention can save up to $15 in post-disaster recovery.”
The communique also noted that the governors urged NEMA and NiMet to develop a comprehensive partnership framework to drive their engagement with states.
The governors further commiserated with their Plateau and Zamfara states’ counterparts, Caleb Muftwang and Dauda Lawal, respectively, over the senseless killings in some parts of their states.
They solicited the cooperation of the Federal Government in safeguarding lives and properties across the country. But commenting on Tinubu’s offer of board slots to the governors across party lines, the LP described it as a ‘gimmick’ to lure the opposition governments and chieftains into the ruling party.
The Chief Spokesman for Obi-Datti Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko stated 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.’’
Tanko wondered why the APC would want to appease the sole LP governor with board offers when the party has hundreds of supporters in Abia State that could be given board appointments.
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.”
Speaking in the same vein, Obi’s media aide, Tai 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.