This is just as a former head of state from the north, it was learnt at the weekend, met with the president to inform him of the general concern among political stakeholders that the delay in forming government was grounding government and business activities in the country.
Meanwhile, the presidency and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were yesterday locked in a war of words over calls by the opposition party for prayers to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari from his difficulties in forming his government.
The fireworks on Buhari’s first 30 days in office came as concerns grew about the increasing drift of sensitive and high ranking positions in a section of the country.
In the latest development on alleged skewed appointments, there were concerns among South-East and South-South political stakeholders that the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, may have been zeroed down to the North East thereby putting the region away from the top six positions in the country which with the exception of the vice-president are all domiciled in the North.
There were also concerns in Abuja at the weekend that the South could also lose out in the ongoing reorganisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
While presidency associates asserted that the President was up to the task in his work and on full throttle, there were concerns among some top political stakeholders over the president’s failure to name key operatives of government.
Besides the PDP, others who expressed concern on the president’s seeming slow start yesterday were Dr. Fredrick Fasehun of the Odua Peoples Congress, OPC, Alhaji Yerima Shettima of the Arewa Consultative Youth Forum and Dr. Kayode Ajulo, Secretary General of the Labour Party, LP.
President Buhari was, however, backed by two members of the Board of Trustees, BoT of the PDP, Chief Ebenezer Babatope and Chief Don Etiebet and also by a chieftain of the APC, Chief George Moghalu. Alhaji Ghali Umar Na‘abba, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Tanko Yakassi, who served as Special Adviser to President Shehu Shagari, were among those who backed the President last night.
In making its call for prayers for the President and the APC, the PDP noted what it claimed as the administration’s difficulty in finding its bearing 30 days into office.
Noting that governance has only been all motion and no movement, the PDP in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh said: “We urge Nigerians to join hands in prayers and offer useful suggestions to President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC because with what we have seen in the last 30 days, the present administration is finding it very difficult to get its bearings right while showing no inclination towards implementing its numerous campaign promises for which they were voted into office.
“We are deeply worried that the President who promised to unveil his cabinet two weeks after his inauguration, has not been able to decide on key appointments such as ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, a Chief of Staff and advisers in key sectors of the economy,” he said.
The assertions were immediately dismissed by the presidency which while responding through Mr. Femi Adeshina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity said that Nigerians were already hand in hand with the president and did not need to be roused up.
He said: “He wants Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the government, so that things would begin to move. What he does not know is that Nigerians had long formed such coalition. They are hands in hands, and that was what gave victory to President Buhari in the March 28, 2015, poll.
“They had teamed up to uproot an administration that had brought the country to her knees and was about to tip her off the precipice. And Nigerians have resolved that never would they allow any government to divide them along regional, religious and ethnic fault lines again.
“The Buhari administration is naturally contemplative because there was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way PDP ran the country, particularly in the immediate past dispensation. That is why the Augean Stable is being cleaned now, and it requires scrupulous and painstaking planning. Across all sectors, our national life was devalued, and it takes meticulousness and sure-footedness to repair all the breaches. This, the Buhari administration will deliver.
Alhaji Tanko Yakasai who served as political adviser to President Shehu Shagari on his part said while he agreed that the President should have made the appointments that do not require Senate confirmation, however, said that 30 days in office were not enough to assess the president.
Erstwhile speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na‘abba on his part pleaded for time saying: “The president should be given time. I don’t believe he has not made the appointments without reasons. I am sure he is going to come out in full force soon. I am sure the president is not averse to the feelings of Nigeria.”
It’s too early to assess Buhari — Babatope
In his comments, a PDP chieftain, Chief Ebenezer Babatope said it was too early to assess the Buhari administration as he promised to come out with his assessment of the president after 100 days.
He is slow and unsteady —Ajulo, LP scribe
In his remarks, the National Secretary of Labour Party, Dr Kayode Ajulo said the Buhari administration in the last 30 days has been slow and unsteady.
Ajulo said: “He (Buhari) is slow and he is unsteady. Unsteady in the sense that he is yet to have the rein of power.”
We’re running out of patience —Shetimma, President, Arewa Youths Forum
On his part, National President of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shetimma said Nigerians were running out of patience owing to the slow pace of the administration.
Nigerians are disappointed —Fasehun
Also, founder of the Odua People’s Congress, OPC, Dr. Frederick Fasehun expressed disappointment in the President’s performance in the first 30 days. He said: “Nigerians are disappointed in the Buhari administration so far because we expected him to hit the ground running and jumping but we have more of motion and less movement.”
President has shown leadership — Moghalu
An APC chieftain, Chief George Moghalu said President Buhari has shown leadership.
He said: “The President has shown leadership in the areas of insecurity and the economy putting in mind the situation the President met on ground when he came on board.”
Former Minister of Petroleum, Chief Don Etiebet said the President is doing great so far and it is evident that there is road to the promised land.
The Presidential candidate of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie in the last election said that Buhari was already showing positive results in its first 30 days.
He cited improved electricity supply as part of the results in the last 30 days.