Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has warned that the party will not hesitate to suspend or expel any Minister who flouts orders from President Muhammadu Buhari. Oshiomhole said this in reaction to the delay by the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, to inaugurate the board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Funds, NSITF.
The Minister had refused to inaugurate the board over alleged fraud committed by the previous board to the tune of over N40 billion. However, Oshiomhole, while speaking with journalists after meeting with Buhari at the President Villa, Abuja, said he won’t condone disrespect from any Minister. When asked on the comment by Ngige, the former Edo State Governor said, “If the minister refuse we will suspend him from the party. You know we must return to internal discipline.
“For me it is the height of mischief for any minister. You cannot purport to be honourable minister and you act dishonourably and nobody is greater than the party. “And 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 candidate in our system, nobody. I emphasis no minister is above the party and they have taken undue advantage of the President’s fatherly disposition.
“Now, it is the same green pen that made them minister that appointed these boards that they are refusing to swear in. And it is absolutely illegal for a minister in a democracy to prey the powers of the board because the laws establishing those institutions are clear, that the boards have procedures to follow. “So, when a minister sits in his office to appropriate the powers of the board in a democracy, not in a dictatorship, award contract that didn’t go through 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.”