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PDP and politics of board appointments

Many of the lobbyists, it was gathered, who were party loyalists had not only approached the presidency and the committee directly, but also sought the…

Many of the lobbyists, it was gathered, who were party loyalists had not only approached the presidency and the committee directly, but also sought the assistance of various groups to ensure their appointment. The lobbyists are said to have even come from the opposition parties who supported the Jonathan in the presidential election.

Weekly Trust learnt that the delay in the composition of boards of various parastatals and agencies might not be unconnected with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) move to use the appointments to appease members who may not be satisfied with the outcome of the ongoing congresses at ward, local government, state,   zonal and national levels.  It was gathered that the much anticipated board appointments may by constituted soon after the March 24, 2012 National Convention where a new set of PDP national officials would be elected.

President Jonathan has on October 19, 2011 constituted a national  committee to work out acceptable modalities for the reconstitution of the agencies’ boards. The committee, headed by Vice President Namadi Sambo, has the Senate President, David Mark; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; Chief of Staff to the President, Mike Oghiadome; as well as the Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Kawu Baraje, as members. The committee will be responsible for the composition of new board members of hundreds of federal agencies with board membership running in thousands.

Expectedly, the ongoing congresses which commenced on March 3 at the  ward,   local government area congresses on March 10 and state congresses which hold today and zonal congresses which hold this coming Wednesday March 21 cannot be said to be crises-free as cases of violence were recorded.

Weekly Trust gathered that the party leadership is looking at the possibility of giving board appointments to aggrieved members who have genuine cases against the backdrop of ongoing moves to ensure that consensus is reached on the choice of fresh party officials at various levels of the party.

A case in hand is the number of people struggling to occupy the topmost position in the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) particularly the positions of National Chairman and National Secretary.

Eleven aspirants want to become the PDP National Chairman while ten are running for the position of National Secretary. For National Chairman, the list includes Senator Mohammed Abba Aji, Dr Musa Babayo, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Prof.Rufai Ahmed Alkali, Arc.Ibrahim Bunu, Mallam Adamu Bello, Dr Shettima Mustafa , Amb.Idris Waziri, Barr.Ibrahim Birma, Alhaji Gambo Lawan, and Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.

For the position of National Secretary, the list comprises: Chief Olusola Oke, Prof.Taoheed Adedoja, Prof.Tunde Adeniran, Chief Oladimeji Fabiyi, Chief Owolabi Salis, Chief Babatunde Daramola, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, Chief Bola Olu -Ojo , Amb. Dare Bejide, and Femi Pedro.

Out of all these aspirants, only one National Chairman and one National Secretary will emerge, while the rest are likely to be compensated with board appointments.

Pundits say if the party leadership and the Presidency really want to get those who may eventually lose out of the contest back on the track, they have to find a way to accommodate their feelings. This, they says , is to avoid post-election crises.

President Jonathan has indicated while inaugurating the committee at the State House, Abuja that state governors would also be contacted before the compilation of names of new board members. He said the boards were dissolved not because board members of the various agencies were not competent but because it was the tradition to do so every four years.

With these remarks from Mr President, it is crystal-clear that the decision on who gets what when it comes toof appointments into the governing boards of various parastatals and agencies, will involve governors and  other stakeholders considering the membership of the committee led by the Vice President which includes representatives from the Presidency, the National Assembly and the PDP leadership.

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