By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€” GRADUALLY coming to terms with the reality that the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is undoubtedly losing out in ongoing power play in Aso Rock, Chairman of the ruling party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, yesterday could not but accept his fate when he declared that he was satisfied by the dissolution of theÂ Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, byÂ Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.
The PDP Chairman also said he had absolute confidence in the person of Jonathan, especially his ability to deliver as Nigeriaâ€™s Chief Executive Officer.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ogbulafor said: â€œIt is a PDP government. PDP is the ruling party. What else do you want?”
Asked if the party has any role to play in the composition of the new cabinet, the PDP chairman said: â€œThe Acting President will consult me. He did the dissolution yesterday and we will give him time to do the consultation. I am in the State House to brief the acting president on party issues.â€
The PDP boss who many believed never wanted or supported the emergence of Jonathan in the first place, however, advised the Acting President to â€œget those that will work with him so that he can run the government efficiently and effectively.â€
We’ll play key role
Ogbulafor maintained that party has always played a role in the nomination of ministers and would continue to play that key role in subsequent selections of ministerial nominees.
â€œWe still play a key role. I have absolute confidence in the acting president. He is a party man. He has been governor of a state and he has been a vice president and now an acting president. So he is a party man to the core,â€ he said, adding that the party was satisfied with the dissolution of the cabinet
Meanwhile, the Office of the Acting President which before now had been a beehive of activities in the past weeks suddenly went quiet, yesterday following Wednesdayâ€™s dissolution of the cabinet.
The entrance leading to the presidential villa was devoid of its usually high vehicular traffic but that is not to say that key players and actors, in the emerging order, in the like of General T.Y. Danjuma (rtd), while Owella Rochas Okorocha was also sighted in Aso Rock yesterday.
Mohammed Abba-Aji, and Cairo Ojougbo, both Presidential Advisers on National Assembly Matters also came in to consult with Jonathan, probably on putting finishing touches to the names of those who will fill the vacant offices.
Abba-Aji told reporters that the list had not been handed over to him, adding that he has confidence in the acting president that the best candidates will be picked for the job.
On what the National Assembly will be looking for in the new nominees, the Yarâ€™Adua adviser said: â€œThe best. People who he can work with to move this nation forward.â€
Meanwhile, there is underground lobbying by party leaders and governors for the nomination of their candidates to fill the new ministerial positions vacated by the former minister.
This is as unconfirmed source told Vanguard that the list of new nominees to a new cabinet could be out Monday, just many of the former FEC members may likely return but certainly with different portfolios.
Sack long overdue â€”NBA
By Innocent Anaba
LAGOS â€” The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, yesterday commended Acting President Goodluck Jonathan for the dissolution of the Executive Council of the Federation, advising that people of proven integrity should be appointed to serve the nation.
NBA President, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, in a statement in Lagos, said: â€œWe received, with great relief, the announcement by the former Minister of Information, Prof Dora Akunyili, on the dissolution of the Executive Council of the Federation by the Acting President, Dr Jonathan.
“This act, though belated, is very welcome. The members of the defunct cabinet had shown that their allegiance to the country was secondary to other prebendal considerations. They clearly exhibited lack of respect for the person and the office of the Acting President.
â€œThey treated Nigerians with unimaginable contempt that should have ordinarily compelled our insistence on their trial. That we tolerated them up till this time is a sad commentary on our docile disposition which is often, disappointingly too, mistaken for resilience.
“The Acting President had been working with those who thought they must receive their orders from elsewhere. Relieving them of their various positions of privilege was indeed long overdue.
â€œWe must, however, throw in a caveat now that the Acting President has been reported as saying that some of the non performers may be brought and a new set of appointments may be made. The time left for this administration is so short that it cannot afford the luxury of spending eternity to settle down.
â€œWe are sure that the Acting President must have been inundated with requests of favours from all and sundry. He must, as a sign of patriotic zest, do away with political jobbers and all characters with no visible means of livelihood other than politics.
“Only those who are technically eligible must be nominated for the approval of the National Assembly. Any member of the defunct band whose name may reappear on the list must owe this singular opportunity to his or her exceptional qualification and nothing else.
“None of them must be brought back on the ground of sentiments. The time is ticking fast. Posterity waits with its harsh verdict.â€
Lawyers want technocrats appointed
By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJA â€” Two prominent lawyers, including an Abuja-based member of the inner bar, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), yesterday hailed the decision by Acting President Jonathan Goodluck to dissolve the inherited cabinet of ailing President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua.
The lawyer said his decision was the best in the circumstance.
But they, however, appealed to him to populate the new cabinet with technocrats instead of politicians who would not allow him to write his name in gold by his performance.
National Legal Adviser to the ruling PDP, Chief Olusola Oke, was the second lawyer who spoke with Vanguard on the issue yesterday.
According to Uche, â€œI think the dissolution of the cabinet is very timely and most appropriate.
â€œI believe that what the Acting President has done will be well received by Nigerians. Nigerians have been expecting it. I think it is very important for him not only to assert himself but also to show leadership by taking control.
â€œNow, he has so limited period and he has so much to be done. There is need for him to reinvigorate the cabinet and then come out with the things he needs to do. He needs not populate his cabinet with loyalists who have nothing to offer.
Also contributing, National Legal Adviser to the ruling PDP, Chief Olusola Oke yesterday applauded the Jonathanâ€™s decision.
His words:Â â€œGiving the views of Nigerians expressed since he became Nigeriaâ€™s Acting President, I think it is a welcome development.”
Reps hail sack
By Tordue Salem
ABUJA â€” ONE hundred and forty members of the House of Representatives under the Auspices of Nigeria First Forum, NFF, yesterday hailed the decision of Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to sack of the Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF, the appointment of new National Security Adviser and his reaction to the crisis in Jos, Plateau State.
Introducing the new group at a press briefing yesterday, Chairman of the Movement, Rep.Â Abba Anas Adamu (PDP/Jigawa State) pledged his groupâ€™s support for electoral reforms before the 2011 general elections.
Flanked by 20 members of the group, Mr. Adamu urged the Acting President to give â€œunqualified priority to the problem of power,â€ which he said had very much affected the economic progress of the country
The group stressed the need to address the issue of the ongoing electoral reforms, through which a fair and transparentÂ election could be achieved in the 2011 general elections.
To move the nation forward, the group promised to work assiduously with a similar group in the Senate, the National Interest Group, NIG, adding that the focus of the movement will be strict adherence to constitutionalism in resolving problems.
According to the group,â€œsuffice it to mention here, however, that the NFF shall be in constant collaboration with the NIG of the Senate to continue to push for maximum support for the Acting President by striving to remove all legal or constitutional impediments that shall impede progress.”
â€œIn addition to the foregoing, we enjoined the Acting President to expose and fight relentlessly against corruption in all its ramifications.â€
Adamu said NFF was born as a direct response to the cloud that enveloped the polity, following the uncertainty created by the ailment of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua and the constitutional crisis that resulted there from.
He said the group was timely and was supportive behind the open letter sent to President Yarâ€™Adua on his sick bed in Saudi Arabia, asking him to transmit a letter to the National Assembly on that status of his health in accordance to section 145 of the 1999 Constitution.
According to him, the group, comprising about 140 members, was behind the move to amend section 144 of the constitution.