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July 31, 2023

Jonathan can’t ‘hijack’ Bayelsa’s ministerial slot, says APC Campaign Council

Jonathan

 The Bayelsa Chapter of the Tinubu/Shettima  Independent Campaign Council (ICC) on Sunday allayed fears of the impending hijack of Bayelsa’s ministerial slot by politicians who do not belong to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The support group assured members of the APC in the state that former President Goodluck Jonathan would not be allowed to nominate Bayelsa’s ministerial candidate.

The ICC said it was inconceivable for Jonathan, who is one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to nominate the state’s representative in the cabinet of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The ICC’s reaction is sequel to the tension generated in the party by reports suggesting that Jonathan was making attempts to hijack the Bayelsa’s ministerial slot.

The report elicited concerns amongst APC stakeholders in the state, including members of the influential APC Elders’ Forum, which vehemently condemned the move.

The ICC, in a statement issued in Yenagoa by its Director, Administration, Chief Joseph Fafi, appealed to party members who were angry at the report to calm down.

Fafi, who described Tinubu as a thorough person who rewards loyalty, insisted that there was no way such injustice and unfairness would be allowed under the current president.

Fafi, a former Chairman of APC in Bayelsa, said:  “At this point everyone needs to calm down.  Tinubu is a thorough person and is known to always reward loyalty.

“It is inconceivable to think that Jonathan would nominate a minister from Bayelsa.

“While he is an elder statesman and we accord him that regard, but as drivers of Tinubu’s presidential campaign in Bayelsa under the leadership of Engr. Preye Aganaba, we know those who supported and those who worked against Tinubu.

“It was open and incontestable. Giving him the right to produce a minister in this government isn’t among the privileges Tinubu is ready to offer Jonathan,” Fafi noted.

Fafi said that Tinubu understood that APC Bayelsa was preparing for a major election and would make appointments to strenghten the party and not empower any PDP mole.

He said: “For us, Bayelsans, this is not just any year. There’s some significance to the fact that this is an election year.

“Appointments coming in must be precise and tactical. Tinubu knows better than to give the ministerial slot to a PDP mole who would only try to truncate APC’s chances of upstaging the PDP and Gov. Douye Diri.

“While the rumours come with some “flesh“ because obviously a few PDP chieftains are scurrying around nocturnally to fly certain persons who campaigned heavily for Atiku, the rumours in reality will remain what they are: rumours.

“We are optimistic Tinubu will appoint a core, seasoned and well qualified party person who would be a huge positive in our gubernatorial elections come Nov. 11.

“We urge our teeming supporters and entire campaign structure in the ICC, members of the APC and Bayelsans in general to relax for the right thing will be done, equity will take centre stage”.

Meanwhile, Jonathan who had met frequently with Tinubu has denied lobbying to nominate a minister for Bayelsa.

In a statement by his spokesman, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, the erstwhile president said that his recent meetings with President Tinubu had nothing to do with Bayelsa politics but his role as ECOWAS envoy.

According to Eze, Jonathan’s visits to Aso Rock Villa were to brief the president on developments in the ECOWAS subregion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Bayelsa is among the states their ministerial nominees have yet to be submitted to the senate for screening and confirmation.