ANPP has not discussed it —Oyegun
BY CHIOMA GABRIEL, Deputy Editor
ONLY opposition parties which connived with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in “rigging” the April elections are jostling for positions in the next federal cabinet, according to former Kaduna governor and gubernatorial candidate of Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, in Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa.
Answering questions from Saturday Vanguard over allegations that some political parties in opposition are nursing secret ambitions to be part of President Jonathan’s all-inclusive government, he said “Credibility should be the deciding factor in picking nominees for the next federal cabinet members but because the rigging of the last elections was a conspiracy between some opposition governors and the Federal Government, they have to work out a way to share their booty.
You are aware that some opposition political parties supported Jonathan and some governors in opposition States also supported him.
“In the past, governors were asked to submit two or three names but to submit ten names confirms what I am telling you. It is a conspiracy. Many opposition parties and governors conspired with the ruling PDP at the centre to rig the elections and so they have to be compensated. That is why Jonathan is talking about an all-inclusive government. It’s a conspiracy of governors and parties who rigged elections.
That is why I kept saying that there can never be free and fair elections in Nigeria. I contested governorship of Kaduna State during the elections. Our record before the elections was good because I was a former governor of the State but you won’t believe it.
Despite campaigning vigorously for the elections, my party was credited with only 20,000 votes out of the over two million votes cast. The reason is money power and rigging.”
Toeing the same line is the presidential candidate of African Renaissance Party, ARP, Yahaya Ndu who dismissed the issue as something to be expected since political parties like All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA and Labour Party, LP, backed Jonathan in his presidential bid.
“Opposition does not operate in reality in Nigeria. What we see is people going in and out of power. No party won election based on its ideology. The common voter does not know any difference between the ideology of one party and the other.
So, what Nigeria needs is a mass participatory government because it is the cumulative skill of all the ensemble that would move Nigeria forward. We need political parties, non governmental organisations and people in diaspora to contribute to governance. The foundation of Nigeria’s problem is this idea of pushing out as many people as possible because of this cake-sharing mentality.”
Since the federal government gave directive to the States over picking nominees for the next Federal Executive Council, intense lobby has commenced across the 36 states and some political parties in their bid to fill slots in the next federal cabinet.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, had earlier dismissed reports that some ministerial positions had been reserved for it.
The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Labour Party (LP) which adopted President Jonathan as their candidate in the last election can expect some compensation.
This according to sources that spoke with Saturday Vanguard is in line with the pact made by Jonathan and some political parties in the heat of campaigns for the elections.
The Deputy national Chairman of All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun
said ANPP is not involved in any discussion or nomination of politicians for the next federal cabinet..
“ What President Jonathan said he wanted was an all-inclusive government and that does not mean he would deal with political parties. An all-inclusive government could mean working with professionals, groups and certain individuals.
I have never seen Nigeria so politically, ethnically and religiously divided as it is today. This country is so divided and it will do Jonathan good to find a way of building a united Nigeria through his make-up of the next federal cabinet. He has not said he wants a government of national unity because that word alone has its problems but it would do him good to rebuild Nigeria.
“ I am talking as an individual because my party has not discussed any such thing but you must know that appointment to a new federal cabinet is a PDP affair. I’m not aware of ANPP or governors of ANPP being asked to submit names. It’s Jonathan’s affair. Let him do what he likes.”
The national chairman of Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu absolves his party of dreaming to submit names for the next federal cabinet members.
“ I’m not aware if the LP governor has been asked to submit any names. LP has not discussed it . When we get to that bridge of whether we should form part of the next federal cabinet, we will cross it. LP supported Jonathan in the last elections because the party had no presidential candidate. We have not had any discussion about contributing names to the federal cabinet, ” he told Saturday Vanguard.
A top chieftain of Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Abubakar Dan Musa also told Saturday Vanguard that he was unaware if CPC would “participate because it has not been mentioned in their meetings.”