Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has threatened to expel ministers from the ruling party for failing to comply with the instructions of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Oshiomhole accused Chris Ngige, minister of labour, and Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, of failing to inaugurate boards under their ministries.
The APC chairman said he had given a one-week ultimatum to Ngige and Sirika to do the needful or face disciplinary action from the party.
Speaking with journalists after meeting with President Buhari on Monday, Oshiomhole said there must be internal discipline in the party.
“If the minister refuses, 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,” he said.
“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 candidates in our system, nobody, I emphasise, 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 legal 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.
“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 appoints 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.”
Oshiomhole said the party has respect for ministers but they should know that they are products of a political party.
“We have respect for ministers but only to the extent that they recognise that they are a product of a political party and we are not negotiating that. If they have done that in the past, under our leadership we will not tolerate it,” he said.
“They either comply or we will expel them from the party. When we expel them, we will find out how a government can keep a rebel in the cabinet. There is no question about that.”