Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to forward his ministerial list to the upper chamber of the National Assembly before the end of this month or latest early July, stressing that he has no reason to delay the composition of his cabinet.
National Chairman of the party, Dan Nwanyanwu, who spoke to newsmen after the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, quipped that after getting the leadership he desired at the National Assembly, President Buhari should not give Nigerians any excuse for failure.
“We expect President Buhari to do better than he did during his first tenure as it relates to the time to constitute his cabinet. We are expecting that in the next 30 days, he should be sending the list of his ministers to the Senate for confirmation.
“I do not think Nigerians are in a position to waste a long time like that. I believe he has learnt lots of lessons and he has got the robes right. I am sure he will not keep us more than necessary. So, Nigerians are expecting that if not before the end of June, early July, his list of ministers should be with the NASS.
“As for the calibre of the people in his cabinet, we expect to see patriots, people with knowledge and who are determined to work for this country. We do not want ministers who just want to sit down and answer ministers.
“We want people with capacity and he should ensure that those key critical ministries like economy, health, housing, transportation, should be given to well-tested people who are ready to sacrifice for this nation.
“We can no longer take excuses. The president has got all he wanted in the National Assembly. He is controlling both chambers. He has no reason to give Nigerians excuses anymore on why he will not perform or why he did not choose good and credible Nigerians, whether they are in APC or in other parties.
“Once Nigerians believe, and those have the capacity to perform, you should take them and put them on board. We are talking about Nigeria now; he’s the president of everybody. I am not unaware that APC as a party, there are greedy people in the leadership that want everything to come from APC even when they know that they don’t have the capacity. We have tested them for four years and the president should not go that way. That is the road Mr. President should not follow in the second term as it relates to the constitution of his cabinet,” he said.
Asked to comment on the plans by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties, the ZLP boss said: “To be frank with you, there are fringe political parties that are doing nothing other than to look for the party to support. Most of them do not have offices even in Abuja. They are only interested in truncating genuine intension of people who want to change the status quo. They don’t just give support empty-handed.
“So, when the INEC chairman talked about commercial political parties, he knew what he was talking about. These people should not come and spoil this business and make it look as if everybody involved in running political parties is after money. We neither supported Atiku Abubakar or Buhari openly despite the temptations but we told our members to vote according to their conscience.
“I raised this alarm before the election that over 70 per cent of the political parties will be deregistered but they accused me of crying more than the bereaved. If INEC by the law claim that they have the power to deregister, so be it. And notwithstanding the fact that we were registered one month before the election, our party has passed that rubicon
“Political parties should go and reactivate their party secretariat and work. They shouldn’t wait for one presidential candidate to emerge to endorse. Political parties should not operate like a trade union. Most of them don’t have party secretariat even in Abuja and they no longer deserve to exist as political parties,” he quipped.
The ZLP boss also spoke on the spate of insecurity in the country, particularly the attacks by bandits across the country, suggesting that community policing is the best antidote.
“I was a member of the National Conference in 2014. I still stand on having whether you call it state police or decentralise the police or call it community policing; I still stand on that position of the National Conference. We thought it over and over and over again, and those who thought it would be an avenue for governors to show impunity were convinced.
“When you have policing up to the community level, it is difficult to have strangers come down to operate and go. Do you know how many people that have been killed today, yesterday? This is because they know that there will be no challenge from those communities.
“In the USA, when they started liberalising arms, they had some problems, but it has stabilised. If you shoot because you have license, you face the law. In America today, you can only rob a house when the parents have gone to work and the children have gone to school.
“When we arm our community policing, it is difficult for strangers to come and kill with impunity and go away without being caught and punished. So, that is my position on security. It will go a long way to solve this problem and I think the president has taken the step by putting up a committee and I hope he will not waste time in approving it to take effect immediately,” he said.