The National Chairman of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has threatened to sack the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, from the party for disrespecting the wishes of President Muhammadu Buhari.The former Edo State governor made the threat while speaking to State House correspondents on Monday, July 23, 2018, accusing the minister of failing to inaugurate boards of parastatals under his ministry as directed by the president several months ago.
Ngige had told Oshiomhole that he would not hurriedly inaugurate the board of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) because of an alleged N40 billion corruption scandal involving the former board.
While speaking on Monday, Oshiomhole said Ngige’s conduct constitutes a lack of respect for the president and the party and could lead to his dismissal from the party and his cabinet position.
He said, “If the minister refuses, we will suspend him from the party. For me it is the height of mischief for any minister, you cannot purport to be an 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 him 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.
“No minister is above the party and they have taken undue advantage of the president’s fatherly disposition.”
Oshiomhole says party won’t tolerate abuse of powerOshiomhole also extended the dismissal threat to Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who has also failed to inaugurate some boards under his ministry, expressing his displeasure for ministers who are abusing the powers of their office.
He said the party will not tolerate such an abuse and will expel any minister who violates the constitution.
He said, “It is the same green pen that made them ministers that appointed these boards that they are refusing to swear in. And it is absolutely illegal for a minister in a democracy to prey on 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 contracts that didn’t go through boards, those are clearly 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 appoint these people.
“So, we are informing them that it is either they comply to 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.”
He said when erring ministers are expelled from the party, there’ll be no way such a ‘rebel’ will be kept in the cabinet.