The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole has threatened to suspend the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, from the party noting that he will not give room for ‘dishonourable’ Ministers.
Oshiomhole threatened to sanction Ngige on the heels of the Minister's refusal to constitute the board members of Federal Agencies’ and parastatals under his ministry.
Shortly after assuming office, Oshiomole directed all Ministers in the cabinet to constitute the board members of their agencies but Chris Ngige in a letter sent to him, said he will not as he only takes directives from President Buhari.
Reacting to Ngige's response, Oshiomole who spoke with state house correspondents after a meeting with President Buhari's Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, said
“If the Minister refuses we will suspend him from the party. We must return to internal discipline. For me it is the height of mischief for any Minister, 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.”
Oshiomole said some Ministers have abused the ‘fatherly disposition’ of President Buhari and therefore, efforts will be put in place to prevail on the President to instill discipline in members of his cabinet and Ministers.
“They have taken undue advantage of the President’s fatherly disposition. 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. No Minister is above the party. It is absolutely illegal for a Minister in a democracy to prey on the powers of the board.
The laws establishing those institutions are clear.
The boards have procedures to follow.
When a minister sits in his office to award a contract that didn’t go through boards, this is clearly an abuse of office. I am convinced that what they are doing is not with the endorsement of Mr. President. I tell them it is the same authority that appoints these people. It is the same blue or green pen that made them Ministers that appointed these boards that they are refusing to swear in.”
Oshiomhole, who is also a former governor of Edo State, said the Ministers must comply to President Buhari’s instructions and also that of the party.
“We have respect for Ministers but only to the extent that they recognise that they are a product of a political party. They either comply or we will expel them from the party.”