By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA——NATIONAL Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrated his democratic credentials of an inclusive government by nominating two ministers from a state that gave him less than five percent votes in the last election.
Oshiomhole also said the ruling APC had performed better since he took over as national chairman of the party.
Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Oshiomhole dismissed criticisms over the quality of the ministerial nominees and the manner of screening by the Senate.
Asked to comment on the credibility of the appointment process, 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 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 see who the nominees are, it is not for nothing that it is televised. 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 levels must deliver. That is the entry point for every Nigerian.”
On political patronage determining Buhari’s appointments, Oshiomhole said: “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 MDAs? Even in your newspapers, do you invite me as APC chairman to write your editorial?
“Patronage can be positive or negative but if there is one man who has shown the capacity to patronise all, including where he did not win election, it is President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Otherwise, where we got less than five percent, I saw two ministers coming from that state, in spite of the fact that he got less than five percent there. That speaks volumes of a large heart, to accommodate, appreciate and have an all-inclusive government.’’
On the agenda of his meeting with President Buhari, he said: “I am the chairman of the party and the President’s not only the President of Nigeria but also the leader of the APC. So, I have a duty to brief him on what the party is doing and also share with him on what the government is doing. You know, a few things had happened over the past two weeks.
APC stronger under my leadership
Asked what he was doing on the turmoils going on in the APC, he said: “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 myself 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 (former) President (Goodluck) Jonathan then, was slightly less than three million, but this time around, we had slightly less than four million.”