By Dipo Olowookere
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to urgently carry out a cabinet reshuffle so as to deliver the good dividends of democracy to the citizens.
At a press conference held in Lagos on Thursday, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), which made this plea, also advised the President to relinquish his position as the Minister of Petroleum Resources so as to allow him focus more on other issues.
Executive Director of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, said President Buhari should resign as oil Minister so as to concentrate “his energy on supervisory roles over all ministries and the presidential leadership of the country while a substantive Minister is appointed for the Petroleum Resources Ministry.”
Mr Adeniran lamented that two years after Mr Buhari’s inauguration, some of his cabinet members have performed woefully with nothing good to show for.
He argued that, “This reality is necessarily telling on the general performance of the government itself wholesomely.”
The CACOL boss said if the President reshuffle his cabinet, he should do due diligence in selecting replacements.
On those to go, CACOL said the present Minister or Power, Works and Housing, Mr Raji Fashola, should be asked to resign or be sacked.
CACOL said Mr Fashola, since coming manning the three ministries, has made more noise than any practical achievement on the ground to justify the funds that has been ploughed into the three sectors under it.
“All the actions and policies of the Ministry have compounded the sufferings of Nigerians in multi-folds; from lack of power supply to the illogical hike in electricity tariffs, from continually decaying infrastructure to death traps as roads with a Housing sector that is ‘non-existent’ or in absolute comatose.
“The Minister is constantly at loggerheads with institutions, contractors and even the citizenry he is supposed to serve.
“The Minister keeps standing logic on its heads by asking the already impoverished Nigerians to bear the brunt of his failure by asking them to pay for services not rendered even up to the effrontery of hiking the tariff of electricity against a background of a country in perpetual darkness.
“He made history by achieving the lowest, zero megawatts for more than 18 hours in history of power generation in Nigeria last year; with nothing to offer than damage, we call on Mr President to ask him to honourably resign or he should be sacked,” Adeniran said.
Also to go, according to CACOL, is the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, who it said has been everything but impressive and constantly appears to be confused on policies and in-depth understanding of economic management.
“The economic terrain under her watch is riddled by contradictions, policy somersaults and uncertainties.
“It is our conviction that it is the concerted efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other MDAs trying to diversify, particularly the Agriculture Ministry and with the increase in the price of oil that helped pulled Nigeria out of recession recently and not via the acumen of the Finance Minister. We recommend that she should be replaced with better competence and prowess,” the group said.
Also, CACOL said Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, should be shown the way to the door because the ministry, under his control, “has no concrete achievement to showcase two years after the inauguration of this government.
“All the lofty promises of performance including making the refineries functional within 6 months and building of new ones given by the Minister at the assumption of duty has fallen flat on their faces, just as Nigeria sadly still import refined products.”
CACOL further said the President should sack the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Malami Abubakar.
Mr Adeniran said the call for Mr Malami’s sack was to save Buhari’s government and the country from further embarrassment and criticisms within the comity of nations.
“The mantra of this government and one of the campaign cardinal points of its party is ‘fight against corruption’.
For any government to succeed in its policies, programmes and agenda, the commitment, professionalism, soundness and integrity of the Chief Law Officer of that government must be impeccable and consistent.
“We are afraid, based on recent happenings, the current Attorney-General and Minister of Justice has fallen short of these critical requirements and incapable of delivering any fundamental departure from the corruption ridden past governance in the country.
“We noted the AGF’s unnecessary interventions particularly in cases of high profile publicly exposed persons and the needless ‘rivalry’ with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, an agency under his Ministry and which ordinarily reports to him officially.
“The Attorney-General was publicly accused of meeting, negotiating, agreeing terms and collecting N50 billion on behalf of the government without recourse to both the regulatory agency and supervisory ministry last year. Local and international criticisms greeted the unprofessional conduct of the Minister and secrecy associated with his negotiation with MTN.
“These reasons, amongst others necessitate our call for the removal of the AGF and Minister of Justice.”
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