Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have kicked off intense lobbying over the positions left vacant by the sack of 24 Directors-General of federal agencies, sources close to the party have said.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Monday, announced the sack of Directors General of key government parastatals.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal, who conveyed the sack in a statement in Abuja, said “the president has approved the immediate disengagement of the chief executive officers of the underlisted parastatals, agencies and commissions.”
The president also approved that the most senior officers in the parastatals, agencies and councils oversee the activities of the organisations, pending the appointment of substantive chief executive officers.
Buhari, in the statement, thanked the affected chief executives and directors-general for their invaluable services to the nation, while wishing them well in their future endeavours.
Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Suleiman Bogoro; Director-Generals of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Sola Omole and those of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Ladan Salihu; Voice of Nigeria (VON), Sam Worlu; National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mike Omeri; Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Emeka Mba and the Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ima Niboro, were affected in the mass sack.
Others affected were the heads of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Petroleum Equalization Fund.
Also affected in the mass sack were heads of Nigeria Railways Corporation (NRC), Bureau of Public Procurements (BPP), Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Bank of Industry (BoI), National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) and Industrial Training Fund (ITF)
Also sacked were the Directors-General of Nigerian Export-Import Bank and National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP).
Sources confirmed that following the sack on Monday, intense lobbying of party leaders had intensified.
It was learnt that the party had decided to draw up its own list of would-be heads, which would then be forwarded to President Buhari.
“The president would make the final decision and everyone knows he has his ways of vetting things, but the party will draw up its list of members who worked assiduously and are seen to be square pegs in square holes,” a source in the party said.
It was learnt that the party was liaising with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on the way forward, as many of the agencies are under his direct supervision.
It was also confirmed that the president would soon announce fresh sack of the leadership of the federal parastatals and agencies, with a source saying that the new sack may be announced during the week.
“The lobbying is not just about those that have been relieved of their positions. There are over 600 parastatals whose headship are already pencilled for removal. All of them are being taken together and our members with interests in the different agencies are already showing signs,” another source close to the party said.
Against the backdrop of outcry over perceived marginalisation by some sections of the country, the Presidency had declared that the number of vacancies to be filled, in apparent reference to pending appointments into federal departments, corporations and agencies.
The delay by the government in sacking those appointees, coupled with the intense lobbying by the various APC leaders had a source of friction, as many of the leaders felt they were yet to be properly accommodated in the scheme of things, in view of their immense contributions to the success of the APC and the president in the 2015 election.
It was learnt that the schism culminated in the leaders of the different power blocs in some states sending separate lists of their candidates for federal appointments into federal boards and paratastals.
Each state was required to send 50 names for such appointments.
A source said the list sent by a governor from one of the six states in the South-West contained only his loyalists, thus the raging disputes among parties membership on the legacy parties that coalesced into the APC in 2014.
It was gathered two APC influential figures in another state from the zone could not harmonise their list because of mutual suspicion, as each camp was said to have sent separate list comprising 50 loyalists to be considered for the board appointments.
The power tussle involved ministers, some of whom were said to not to be enjoying the best of relationships with the governors in their home states, as well as some perceived kingmakers in the APC.