Admitting that recent board appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari have been dogged by controversies, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, says it was not fortunate enough to be allowed participation in the final compilation of the much-criticised list of board appointees.
This was as it stated that the anomaly witnessed in the appointments would not have occurred if the ruling party was carried along till the very end of the process.
Buhari had come under intense criticism for appointing some dead Nigerians among those to serve on the boards of federal parastatals. Among the dead appointees are Sen. Francis Okpozo, who was named Chairman, Nigerian Press Council NPC; Deputy Inspector General of Police, Donald Ugbaja (retd), appointed member of Consumer Protection Council and the founder of Fidei Polytechnic, Very Rev Fr Christopher Utov appointed a member of the board of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research.
There was also Umar Dange Sokoto, former emir of Katagum in Bauchi state, who was picked to join the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, also in Bauchi. According to reports, also dead but appointed are Garba Attahiru Kaduna; Dr. Nabbs Igbokwe of Rivers State, Comrade Ahmed Bunza from Kebbi State and Miss Magdalene Kumu from Taraba
Explaining its role in the process, the APC stated that while the party was carried along in the initial stages of the compilation of the list two years ago, it was not however privy to the final outcome.
National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who made this in Abuja on Saturday during a dinner with journalists in his private residence, stated that the party should have been allowed to participate in the final outcome since some nominees would have died or changed party.
His words, “We have followed the issue of board appointments and I think that issue has raised a lot of controversies already. The only thing I want to add is that it is pretty obvious that the party was not involved in the final stages of the compilation of that list.
“Yes, we sent at the initial stage and I am talking of a period of two years ago. We demanded for every state to make 50 nominations which were sent to the committee in charge of the list for the purpose. They completed the initial exercise that time but since then a lot has happened.
“People have changed parties, people have died, we have three new governors that were not there when the list was compiled…Therefore, it was clear that there was obvious need for us to look at the final outcome of the exercise.
“But we were not fortunate to participate in that final stage, otherwise it is quite clear such would not have occurred. It is my sincere hope that we will be fully involved in the review that has to now take place and any other exercise moving forward from this day.”