Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari appeared to have dashed the hopes of the governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) when he rejected their plans to submit a ministerial list to him.
The APC governors, led by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, had, last Tuesday, visited Buhari in Abuja to pledge loyalty and make some demands.
At the meeting, some requests were placed on the table openly, while the request to drop the list of possible ministers came up for discussion behind the closed door.
Nigeria’s National Daily Newspaper, Tribune reports that Sources close to the meeting between the governors and General Buhari indicated that the state chief executives came out of the visit with heavy minds.
Planning to maintain the tradition already instituted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where the state governors as party leaders in the states are requested to submit list of possible ministers and Ambassadorial appointees to the president, the governors threw the request at Buhari.
But it was learnt that the General rejected the proposal and declared that the Constitution does not mandate him to take a list of ministerial nominees from them.
The president-elect was also said to have rejected the call for a bailout for the states that have been unable to pay salaries, with a source informing Sunday Tribune that the General flatly rejected the proposal, saying the he was aware the Federal Government was not owing the states their allocations.
A source close to the discussion told the Sunday Tribune that General Buhari told the governors that those of them in their second terms could not complain about the state of government finances, as they have all been collecting allocations from the Federal Government all along.
A source in the know said: “The governors practically went out of the visit with their tails between their legs. The General first threw aside the request that he grant bailout to the states. He told them that the governors going for second term in office cannot complain about the state of the economy, having collected all their allocations to date from the Federal Government. He ruled out the possibility of bailout.
“The General was also very unequivocal when he was told that the governors want to submit a ministerial list to him. He clearly said he cannot go into that discussion. He insisted that the Constitution does not mandate him to collect such list from the governors and that the state chief executives should concentrate on sourcing good materials that would help them run the states adequately.”
The source quoted Buhari as saying that “I do not think we can discuss that issue of Ministerial list. The Constitution clearly does not mandate me to take a list from the governors. To me, the governors should concentrate on getting good hands to help them in discharging their duties in the states.”
The APC governors had made a meal out of their meeting with General Buhari last week, with media reports indicating that they were in Abuja to submit ministerial lists to the president-elect. But the sources said that they left the meeting disappointed, as the General turned down their two major requests.
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