Chairman of the All Progressive Congress ( APC) Adams Oshiomole has read the riot act to the minister of labour and productivity, Chris Ngige to inaugurate the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) or risk suspension.
Recall that two weeks ago, Oshiomole had asked Ngige and minister of state Aviation, Sen.Hadi Sirika, on the need to inaugurate all boards under their ministries within one week or face sanctions from the party.
In a letter dated July 11, 2018, and addressed to the ministers, the APC chairman berated the ministers for failing to reconstitute the Boards, which according to him contravenes the position of the National Executive Council and the Presidential directives to all ministers, describing it as a great disrespect to the party.
In his reaction, Senator Ngige said the board of the NSITF was not inaugurated because of corruption involving N48bn Federal Government and Employers’ contributions to the Employees’ Compensation Fund plus some non-remitted PAYE taxes.
However speaking to State House correspondents yesterday, Oshiomole asserted that the party will no longer tolerate rebel as ministers who shun its directives.
According to him, some ministers were taking undue advantage of President Buhari ‘s fatherly deposition saying if the President condones disrespect for his office, he will not condone disrespect for the party.
He said “If the minister refuses we will suspend him from the party. You know we must return to internal discipline. For me it is the height of mischief for any minister, you cannot purport to be honourable minister and you act dishonourably and nobody is greater than the party.
“And if the President condones disrespect for his office, I will not condone disrespect for the party. And when we expel the minister we will prevail on the president that he can’t keep in his cabinet people who have neither respect for his own decisions nor have respect for the party without which they would not have been ministers.
“There is no independent candidate in our system, nobody, I emphasis no minister is above the party and they have taken undue advantage of the president’s fatherly disposition.
Stating that it is the same green pen that made them minister that appointed these boards that they are refusing to swear in, Oshiomole said it is absolutely illegal for a minister in a democracy to prey the powers of the board because the laws establishing those institutions are clear.
He added ” So, when a minister sits in his office to appropriate the powers of the board in a democracy, not in a dictatorship, Ward contract that didn’t go through boards, those are clearing abuse of office for which they are liable.
“I am convinced that what they are doing is not with the endorsement of Mr. President. Over the period they have tried to drop the president’s Name but I tell them it is the same authority that appoints these people.
“So, we are informing them that it is either they comply to the president’s instructions or they comply with the party’s position or they go and administer outside the government.
“We have respect for ministers but only to the extent that they recognize that they are a product of a political party and we are not negotiating that. If they have done that in the past under our leadership we will not tolerate it.
” They either comply or we will expel them from the party. When we expel them we will find out how a government can keep a rebel in the cabinet. There is no question about that,” he stated.
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