Drama over ap­point­ment of com­mis­sion­ers in 12 states

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Eyo Charles, Cal­abar

Chair­man of the rul­ing party (PDP) in Cross River State, Nt­u­fam John Okon, told jour­nal­ists last week that they had to de­lay the an­nounce­ment of would-be com­mis­sion­ers in the be­cause each chap­ter of the party, at ward and lo­cal gov­ern­ment lev­els, had been asked to screen and nom­i­nate names.

"Hav­ing passed that stage, the party agreed with our leader in the state, Gover­nor Ben Ayade, when he said all the nom­i­nees must be sub­jected to tests and ap­praisal.

"This is what is still go­ing on. I am very cer­tain that be­fore long, their names would be for­mally an­nounced just as names of some spe­cial ad­vis­ers were an­nounced last week," he added.

Okon ex­plained that the po­ten­tial com­mis­sion­ers were to go through in­tegrity tests to de­ter­mine how hon­est they would be in their po­si­tions of re­spon­si­bil­ity. The tests, he added, would also as­cer­tain if they could give true ac­count of them­selves in terms of ICT ca­pa­bil­ity and ex­po­sure.

In his ex­pla­na­tion, Gover­nor Ayade had stated that though he would re­serve 30 per cent slots to the op­po­si­tion to be part of his gov­ern­ment of unity, he needed to have peo­ple who would be truly ac­cept­able by their own peo­ple; who would be di­rectly se­lected by their com­mu­ni­ties.

Na­tional vice chair­man of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), for South-South, an in­di­gene of the state, Prince Hil­liard Eta, is how­ever re­ported to have warned that no mem­ber of the party ac­cept of­fers from Ayade. Nearly five months af­ter they took their oath of of­fice, some state gover­nors are yet to ap­point com­mis­sion­ers, an im­por­tant com­po­nent that would en­sure ser­vice de­liv­ery to the peo­ple. In other states, the list is hang­ing at the House of Assem­bly while in another, the gover­nor is op­er­at­ing with only five com­mis­sion­ers. strat­egy to drive with a new spirit and new men­tal­ity.

Speak­ing on the mat­ter, a chief­tain of the All Pro­gres­sives Grand Al­liance (APGA), who pleaded anonymity, said the gover­nor was wait­ing for the out­come of the elec­tion tri­bunal be­fore ap­point­ing com­mis­sion­ers. Gover­nor Al­haji Ibrahim Has­san Dankwambo, who has been re­elected for another term of four years, has not ap­pointed com­mis­sion­ers and other po­lit­i­cal ap­pointees yet.

Daily Trust cor­re­spon­dent ob­served that the only ap­point­ment made by the gov­ern­ment thus far was that of James Pis­agih as the act­ing Sec­re­tary to the State Gov­ern­ment (SSG).

The gover­nor re­lies on per­ma­nent sec­re­taries and heads of gov­ern­ment paras­tatals in run­ning the state even as he is said to have left the po­lit­i­cal ac­tors that helped in his sec­ond re­turn guess­ing.

A source at the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion said the gover­nor was tak­ing his time to get cred­i­ble peo­ple that will as­sist him to de­liver the man­date given to him. that sub­se­quent ap­point­ments would be made in due time point­ing out that the ap­point­ment of the cab­i­net mem­bers would be on merit.

The state has about 16 min­istries.

No rea­son was given for the de­lay in the ap­point­ment of the re­main­ing com­mis­sion­ers but un­con­firmed re­ports had it that it may not be un­con­nected with the on­go­ing elec­tion pe­ti­tion hear­ing at the tri­bunal sit­ting in Abuja. In Bauchi State, Daily Trust learnt that the de­lay in the ap­point­ment of com­mis­sion­ers may not be un­con­nected with the ef­fort of the state gov­ern­ment to re­struc­ture the ad­min­is­tra­tive struc­tures in the min­istries.

Although the gover­nor had ap­pointed some key aides such as the Sec­re­tary to the State Gov­ern­ment (SSG) and re­de­ployed some per­ma­nent sec­re­taries, the ap­point­ment of com­mis­sion­ers is yet to be car­ried out.

The Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the gover­nor on Media and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Yakubu Ibn Muham­mad, said that the de­lay was oc­ca­sioned by the de­sire of the gover­nor to ap­point peo­ple that will work for the de­vel­op­ment of the state.

There are in­sin­u­a­tions that politi­cians have also con­trib­uted in the de­lay in the ap­point­ment by the gover­nor, ba­si­cally due to power play among them over who and who should be ap­pointed.

When con­tacted on tele­phone, Auwal Aliyu Jal­lah, the pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary of the APC in the state, said that there was no iota of truth in the ac­cu­sa­tion. coun­cil is to be ready in a week or two.

Masari dis­closed this at the gov­ern­ment house, where he said there are pend­ing de­ci­sions that can only be reached with a con­sti­tuted coun­cil.

How­ever, some sources at the gov­ern­ment houses told Daily Trust that in­tense lob­by­ing, po­lit­i­cal power play and in­trigues amongst stake­hold­ers were the rea­sons that caused the de­lay.

It was on Tues­day that the Yobe State House of Assem­bly also re­ceived the list of would be com­mis­sion­ers.

Sources at the Assem­bly said the screen­ing ex­er­cise will start soon.

In Plateau State, Gover­nor Si­mon La­long had to re­act to com­ments by the op­po­si­tion PDP, that the de­lay in ap­point­ing the state cab­i­net was a sign of lack of fo­cus.

The gover­nor had been re­peat­edly re­ported to have made ar­range­ments to ap­point his cab­i­net, right from his first month in of­fice, but nearly five months af­ter he was sworn in, there are no clear signs that the ap­point­ments would come any­time soon.

Mike Da­chom, the or­ga­niz­ing sec­re­tary of the PDP in the state, had crit­i­cized the non­ap­point­ment of com­mis­sion­ers, de­scrib­ing it as a sign of lack of fo­cused lead­er­ship by the APC ad­min­is­tra­tion.

But La­long said through his media aide, Em­manuel Nanle, that the ad­min­is­tra­tion had com­pleted the pro­cesses that would lead to the sub­mis­sion of names of com­mis­sion­ers. for the gover­nor to make the ap­point­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to him, “the rea­son why Gover­nor Rauf Aregbesola has not ap­pointed his com­mis­sion­ers is sim­ple and it is be­cause of the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the state which is known to ev­ery­one”.

The much awaited com­mis­sion­ers’ list in Niger State is ready for on­ward trans­mis­sion to the state house of assem­bly, Daily Trust learnt.

While field­ing ques­tions from news­men on his re­turn from the United King­dom re­cently, the state gover­nor, Al­haji Abubakar Sani Bello, had as­sured cit­i­zens of the state that the much an­tic­i­pated com­mis­sion­ers' list will be out “very soon”.

Source close to the state gov­ern­ment con­firmed that the list could only be made public by the state house of assem­bly which is cur­rently on re­cess.

The gover­nor’s chief press sec­re­tary, Ibraheem Dooba, had said the rea­sons for the de­lay in form­ing the cab­i­net are “not fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent” from that of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

The APC-led ad­min­is­tra­tion of Gover­nor Rochas Oko­rocha in Imo State is yet to have com­mis­sion­ers.

The chief press sec­re­tary to the gover­nor, Sam On­wue­meodo, at­trib­uted the de­lay to the present poor eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try.

He said based on that, the gover­nor had set up a com­mit­tee to re­view the num­ber of state min­istries with a view for ef­fec­tive man­age­ment.

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