•Non-PDP appointment seekers besiege FCT
•Jonathan ‘ll do what is right -PDP
Written by Donald Ojogo, Warri Sunday, 30 October 2011
Former President and chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, may have abandoned President Goodluck Jonathan to handle the constitution of boards of parastatal agencies the way he deems fit.
Similarly, former BOT chairman, Chief Anthony Anenih, has been said to be leaving the president alone as jostle for appointments, particularly chairmanship and membership of boards of agencies heightened over the weekend.
Leaders of the ruling PDP from across the federation stormed Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), seeking for placements in the dissolved federal agencies.
However, it was learnt that appointment seekers, who are not members of the PDP, could be more than those who are card-carrying members of the party.
The development is coming amidst reports that President Jonathan will, in a matter of weeks, make public a list of ambassadorial and high commissioner nominees as the nomination process has reached an “advanced stage.”
In the midst of all these, however, BOT chairman, former President Obasanjo, and his predecessor, Chief Anenih, have kept their distance from the “hassles of the appointments,” Sunday Tribune authoritatively gathered.
Their previous unsuccessful attempts to influence President Jonathan in certain appointments gave rise to their individual decisions to keep away from the ‘scene’, a highly competent source told Sunday Tribune in confidence.
However, despite the reported stance of the PDP elders, the party has expressed optimism that President Jonathan will “ultimately do what is right for the party and the nation.”
National Legal Adviser of the party, Chief Olusola Oke, told Sunday Tribune that it was too early to conclude that the party was or would be short-changed, adding that “tolerance is an unavoidable ingredient in politics.”
Nevertheless, Sunday Tribune source said major hotels in Abuja had been booked by appointment seekers, mostly members of the PDP, as of Friday, October 28, as President Jonathan was expected back from Australia where he had attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) summit.
“As I talk to you now, most of the major hotels have been fully booked by those who seek placements in federal parastatals. Interestingly, most of these persons are not even party men and women as some of them claim they know one godfather or the other to enable them sail through in their desires.
“The disturbing aspect of it all is that everyone is coming on his own without any coordination.
“It is also worrisome that anywhere you go to for assistance, it is the same story of ‘I don’t want to worry myself,’ or ‘let him (president) do what he likes.’
“As I speak with you now, the former president, I mean Obasanjo, has told lobbyists that there is little he can do to assist them.
“The story was not different when I personally went to Chief Anenih’s place to seek his support. I was surprised to hear from him that he has made up his mind not to lobby for any one.
“He pointedly told me that he has kept away from the scene of the hassles of appointments,” Sunday Tribune source said.
However, Chief Oke admonished members of the PDP to place national interest above every other.
“Yes, it is true that some leaders of the party may think they are short- changed; but the party believes in the president’s vision for the nation as well as his desire for national transformation. It is always the case when a party wins an election after which the need for political patronage arises.
“What we have always told the people is that the president will ultimately do what is right for the party and the nation, but we all have a duty to be tolerant with him because tolerance is an unavoidable ingredient in politics,” he said in a telephone interview with our reporter.
He was called when all attempts to get the reaction of PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Alkali, failed.
President Jonathan had, penultimate week, approved the dissolution of boards of all federal parastatal agencies, just as he 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.