Presidency: ministers’ sack not for PDP crisis


President Goodluck Jonathan’s sack of nine ministers on Wednesday has nothing to do with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crises, the Presidency has said.

The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, said Jonathan has the power to hire and fire his ministers.
He spoke at the inauguration of an Elders’ Council to tackle the party’s crises.

The 42-member committee include former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu, Chief Olabode George, Gen. Patrick Aziza (rtd), former House of Representatives Speaker Mrs Patricia Etteh, Prof. Jubril Aminu, former PDP National Chairman Solomon Lar, Prof. Jerry Gana, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, former Ondo State Governor Olusegun Agagu, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Senator Saidu Umar Kumo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, Rev. Yusuf Turaki and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi.

Gulak said the responsibility of the group was to formulate a blueprint for sustainable peace in the polity. He said the unfolding events in the party and the president’s responses should not be misinterpreted.
He said: “We must all understand that it is the prerogative of Mr President to hire and fire his ministers within his constitutional power.

“So, we must not always adduce our own personal reasons to situations like this. The president must have worked on this based on facts at his disposal.
“Whatever it is, the ministers were working for Mr President towards the realisation of his goals for the country and it has nothing to do with the crises in the PDP.

“To say the sack was targeted at those with the new PDP is just an imagination of those saying it. As a matter of fact, it is in this administration that ministers have stayed more than two years.
“We have seen situations where cabinets were changed almost every six months, but I believe the ministers who were relieved of their appointments have contributed their own quota”.

The Elders Council, according to Gulak, would produce a blueprint on how to sustain peace in the country. He said: “Some people believe that power belongs to them alone and that others have no right to it. They have forgotten that it is God who gives power to anybody, irrespective of tribe or religion.

“You have been carefully selected and saddled with this responsibility believing that you are in a better position to understand the principles of the founding fathers of this country.

“We are also convinced that you can devote your time to planning for the sustenance of peace and unity of this country.”
Mantu, who responded on behalf of his colleagues, said the country’s interest would drive the group’s activities.
George said PDP’s crises were normal, adding: “In politics, there is no panic because a good political party does not panic.

 What is happening can be linked to what happened in the prelude to the 2003 presidential elections.
“At that time, I was at a meeting where 22 governors pointedly told Baba to his face at that time that he was not marketable and they would not stand with him. I was shocked.

“But, with the maturity of the party and the quality of the people in the party, we managed it because the corporate interest of Nigeria is bigger than any personal interest of any individual.
“When the founding fathers started the geo-political zone arrangement and decided that topmost offices would be zoned to each one, first, it brought a sense of belonging and commitment.

“To me, it is turn-by-turn Nigeria Limited because some day, as it rotates, it will get to your turn.
“One thing that we should understand is that once it gets to election period, the polity is heated; it is normal, especially in this teenager democracy of ours.”




The nation
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