The Chairmen of Diaspora Chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as other party personalities in government to consider party members first in giving appointments.
The chairmen made the call in a statement e-mailed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN reports that the statement was signed by Dr Philip Idaewor, Chairman, APC UK and Chairman, APC Diaspora Chairmen Forum; Mr Lawal Ayoola, Chairman, APC Scandinavia and Secretary, APC Committee of Diaspora Chairmen Forum and Mr Stephen Tella, Chairman, APC Spain.
Chief Charles Michelleti, Chairman, APC Ghana; Prof. Adesegun Labinjo, Chairman, APC USA; Mr Adefioye Hammed, Chairman, APC Ireland, and Chief Olarenwaju Balogun, Chairman, APC France, also signed the statement.
Others who similarly signed the statement were: Dr Chime Ibezim, Chairman, APC Italy; Mr Lawrence Adelekan, Chairman, APC Philippines, and Mr Tony Isama, Emeritus Chairman of the forum.
The chairmen said party members laboured hard to put the government in power and that it was only natural and just that they were considered first in appointments.
They said a scenario where members of the opposition were considered for appointments, ahead of vibrant party members in the name of “technocrats’’, was not a good development.
The chairmen commended the national leadership for its firm stand against giving appointments to opposition figures, saying only committed members could drive the agenda of the party.
“Over the past two weeks, we have watched in utter amazement as our vibrant party members have had to voice their opposition to the developing scenario where party members worked hard and were not given commensurate consideration for appointments.
“Party members spent their time and resources to get our party into government, only to find that members of the opposition and so called technocrats suddenly becoming the darling of our party leaders in government.
“These so called opposition technocrats who vehemently opposed our party manifesto and vision are getting a good reckoning from our party leaders in government.
“We, as leaders of our party in the Diaspora, fully stand with the leadership of our party on this issue of ensuring that party members become the first consideration for appointments to run and drive our party manifesto for the good of our nation.
“We do not accept that people who hold opposing political ideologies or none can effectively mobilise or motivate Nigerians to move our country to the next level of political and economic growth,’’ the statement said.
The chairmen contended that the idea of a political party in government shopping for opposition candidates to serve in her government was not good for an ideal multi-party democracy.
They added that the norm in mature democracies was for party in government to fill positions with candidates from within and not the opposition.
“To the specific subject of the newly-established Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), we wish to state that our party members get the first call in getting this commission off to a smooth and strong start.
“We strongly reject the subterranean campaigns and activities of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), who are mostly PDP members that the commission’s board should be constituted by her members.
“The Committee of Diaspora Chairmen of the APC wishes to state without ambiguity that we do not accept that argument.
“Our position is clear, the Diaspora membership of the commission’s board should come from amongst our members who have campaigned hard to get the government into power because we believe in the vision of the party and President Buhari,’’ they said.
The chairmen, therefore, implored Buhari and the National Chairman of the party, Mr Adams Oshiomole, to impress on all party leaders in government to consider loyal party members for appointments as a way of appreciating their efforts.
They stressed that they were expecting nothing less than a full representation of APC Diaspora Forum members on the board of NIDCOM.