FREEPRESS – The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, on Monday lamented that ministers are taking advantage of President Muhammadu Buhari’s “fatherly disposition” by not being up and doing in the various ministries they head.
He also threatened to prevail on Buhari to sack such ministers from the federal cabinet, adding that if President Buhari condones disrespect for his office, he will not condone disrespect for the party.
Oshiomhole handed down the threat during an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the APC under his leadership would not continue to tolerate ministers who abuse their offices and disrespect President Muhammadu Buhari by refusing to carry out his orders.
The former Edo State Governor said if Buhari decided to condone disrespect for his office, he would not allow any government official to disrespect the party.
He said, “You know, we must return to internal discipline. You cannot purport to be an honourable minister and you act dishonourably. Nobody is greater than the party.
“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 are no independent candidates in our system. Nobody, I emphasise, no minister is above the party and they have taken undue advantage of the President’s fatherly disposition.”
Oshiomhole said it was the same “green pen” that made them ministers that also appointed the board members that they are refusing to inaugurate.
He said it was illegal for a minister in a democracy to subvert the powers of the boards because the laws establishing the institutions are clear.
The party chairman said he was sure that affected ministers did not have the President’s backing in their actions.
He added, “When a minister sits in his office to appropriate the powers of the board in a democracy — not in a dictatorship — and award contracts that didn’t go though boards, those are clear 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 appointed these people.
“So, we are informing them that it is either they comply with 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 recognise that they are products of a political party and we are not negotiating that.
“If they did 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.”