The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday, questioned the credibility of those criticising the 43 ministerial list submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for screening.
Oshiohmole made his position known when he addressed State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
The APC party leader, who was reacting to criticism that the list was based on political patronage, said in the contrary the list was meant to boost formation of an all-inclusive government.
Oshiohmole, who descended heavily on the critics, said the president was magnanimous to have nominated up to two ministers from state that contributed less than five per cent of the President’s votes in the 2019 Presidential election.
He said: ”Whose credibility? How credible are some of those who are talking?
”The point is that I don’t know if there is a Nigerian who knows every Nigerian.
”Even as I can say that I have worked for Nigerian people at all levels, as a worker in a factory, as President of the NLC, as governor of a state and now as a national chairman of a party, there are too many Nigerians I will never be able to know.
“The screening process is meant to enable those watching, it is not for nothing that it is televised, it is to enable Nigerians see who these people are.
“But you will find that people started dismissing the list even before they saw it, just like some other things that Nigerians dismiss without knowing the meaning.
“So, what you and I should insist on is that in the President’s second term, in this next level, our party, our government at the centre, state and local government level must deliver. That is the entry point for every Nigerian.
”And when you talk of patronage, should we appoint…have you heard of Americans appointing Russians because they are experts to go and preside over their Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)?
“Even in your newspapers do you invite me as APC chairman to come and write your editorial? He queried
According to Oshiohmole, the president has shown the capacity to patronize all geo-political zones of the country including where he did not win election.
He said: “Otherwise, where we got less than five percent, I saw two ministers coming from that state (Anambra), inspite of the fact that he got less than five percent there.
”That speaks volumes about a large heart, to accommodate, appreciate and to have an all inclusive government.”
The APC boss, who narrated his achievements so far, expressed optimism that the incoming ministers would perform creditably well after taking oath of office in days to come.
“I am very optimistic that these ministers coming, all of us working together, the party, the executive which the ministers belong and the National Assembly where we have overwhelming majority, we have what it takes to take Nigeria to the next level and the next level we are going there,” he said
He added that Nigerians were appreciating the APC better under his leadership, saying that the party had made tremendous progress.
”You talk about rumours, what about what you see. I am very proud to say that under my chairmanship, our party has made tremendous progress.
”I am not at the mercy of fake or even disgruntled analysts. I write my own testimonials by my self in terms of what l do, how I do it and what the unbiased people say.
“Irrespective of all the speculations, for example, it was said that 17 governors were going to remove Oshiomhole, what happened? At the end , we provided leadership and had more votes.
”In the 2015 election, the difference between our candidate and President Jonathan then, was slightly less than three million, but this time around, we had slightly less than four million.
”That is the way it works and I believe that Nigerians under my leadership appreciated APC better under my Chairmanship, as evidenced by the fact that we had more Senators, House of Representatives members this year, than before,” he added.
Oshiohmole further maintained that APC, under his leadership, had successfully uprooted the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his cronies, politically, in Kwara.
He said: ”Remember I was saying that Saraki must be removed, people would say how would I do it? I said okay if he resists removal then we would uproot.
“We went to Kwara, we did Otoge, we uprooted Saraki and you cannot commend me for this? You know who Saraki is? If you are talking of the most smartest political player, seasoned smart guy, he is.
”But for every smartness he has, I have a superior smartness. At the end of the day who won?
“As a senate president, we uprooted him as senator, we uprooted his nominee for governor and senators, we put our own.
”Today, he doesn’t have one senator in Kwara, he doesn’t have one House of Representatives in Kwara. Everything in Kwara is APC and you can’t commend me for that?
“If you don’t, then I will be like lizard, I will praise myself if you State House correspondents don’t praise me.” he added.
NAN reports that since the exercise began on July 23, 40 nominees have been screened by the Senate.
The exercise continues on Tuesday.