Except President Goodluck Jonathan personally intervenes, the ongoing cold war between the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed and Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, may stall ongoing transformation of the FCT.
President Jonathan while sealing a performance agreement contract with ministers had expressly warned to deal ruthlessly with any two ministers who fail to work together in one ministry.
But recent events have clearly shown that the duo are ready to put the will of Mr President to test, as there was no sign of togetherness between them.
FrontiersNews investigations revealed that the minister of State and daughter of Chief Akinjide, an Ibadan foremost lawyer, was absent at the conferment of national honour on Senator Mohammed. She was also missing during the three-day Good Governance Tour of the FCT Administration.
But there were unverified claims that Akinjide eventually visited Bala after the grand reception at the official residence of the minister at Life Camp.
The crux of the cold war and tension between both ministers, it was learnt, may not be unconnected with the alleged “one-man show in the management of FCT’s security vote by Senator Bala, without the involvement the junior minister.
Akinjide’s aide in the FCTA told a reporter that the junior minister was not in the picture of the administration’s security vote.
The source who wouldn’t want his name in print declared that “Akinjide is not happy with the way things are done here. She has even threatened to petition the Presidency if the situation persist.
“On one occasion, she argued that all ministers are members of the Federal Executive Council and the dichotomy between the senior and junior ministers are mere creation of the media.”
Specifically, some of the staff working under the Minister of State have expressed displeasure over the silent face-off between Senator Bala and Oloye Akinjide, saying “when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
One of the staff anonymously said: “To be frank with you, I am not comfortable with the recent face-off between the two ministers. Most of you will not know what some of us have suffered in the past.
“Not too long ago, similar scenario played out during Dr. Aliyu Modibo and Sen. John Akpanudoedehe. While the in-fighting between the duo lasted, our entire land request was KIV (Keep in View) by Modibbo, even when our colleagues working with the minister got approval.
“A similar thing occurred during the era of Sen. Adamu Aliero and Mr. Chuka Udom. We are dying in silence because when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
However, Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, Mr. Nosike Ogbuenyi, dismissed insinuations of a rift between both ministers, describing the relationship between them as normal.
Ogbuenyi said: “She travelled out of the country with the Minister of National Planning during the Good Governance Tour of the FCT to negotiate business investment for the development of Area Councils and satellite towns.
“There is no quarrel anywhere. The two of them are working harmoniously for the development of FCT.”
Meanwhile, some of the participants at the Good Governance Tour of the FCT,, claimed that the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, was part of the tour.
A concerned source was quick to add that unless urgent measures were taken to avert the looming physical confrontation, the ongoing crises may degenerate, as politicians who are fanning the embers of discord between the Bauchi born senior minister and Ibadan native junior minister, are already feasting on the crises.
Source: Frontier News