The Presidency, yesterday, described as mere fabrications, reports on the formation of the cabinet by President Bola Tinubu.
It also said the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was reaping from the crisis in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and that President Tinubu was operating an open-door policy that had endeared him to people within and outside the country.
It will be recalled that recent reports had speculated on who may have been pencilled down for ministerial appointments, harping on alleged intense lobbying by interested Nigerians.
Asked to give an update on the formation of the cabinet, Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, Dele Alake, said there was no truth in what had been put in public space.
He said the president was within the stipulated 60 days period by the constitution to submit the ministerial list, adding that it was he alone that knew who should make his cabinet.
Addressing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday, Alake said the responsibility of appointing ministers rested solely on the president, who would do so when he was ready.
He said: “About the ministerial list, the simple truth is that you know, this is an executive presidency, we’re not running a parliamentary system, so the bucks stops on the president’s table, and he decides when it’s fit and proper for him to make his cabinet list known..
“We are not unaware of all the speculations and innuendos and rumours, all kinds of things in the media. But I, as a media man, chuckle to myself that people want to sell, so they just fabricate.
“I can tell you all of those things you’ve been reading in the media are mere fabrications. There is no iota of truth in all of those things. When the president is ready, you will be the first to know about his intentions.”
Alake also said Tinubu’s meetings with opposition figures had nothing to do with the formation of his cabinet, noting that it was in line with his decision to run an open government.
He said Wednesday’s visit to the President by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, under President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, Senator Anyim Pius Ayim, and former Peoples Democratic Party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, was to commend President Tinubu for the steps he had taken so far.
He praised them for their courage and sincerity, just as he took a swipe on other opposition members for turning their backs on the efforts of the new administration.
Alake said the issue of former Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, was a matter of harvesting from the internal crisis of the PDP.
Recall that since Tinubu’s inauguration, Wike has been a regular caller at the Presidential Villa.
“Wike’s case is self-explanatory. It was the tempestuous nature of PDP’s internal political wrangling that caused Wike’s issue and you are all aware of that. So that one has no issues with Wike’s thing, it’s an internal affair of the PDP.
“However if as a political party, your energy is fighting itself, you reap whatever gain from it without lifting a finger, that’s what happened.”
“Now about the PDP people that came, you know the President said his administration is running an open door policy and he is a unifier, he is a symbol of unity of the country. So if anybody from any angle wishes to see the President and has some salient point to raise or issues or observations or even suggestions, the President opens his doors.
“So those people, Anyim Pius Anyim and Olisa Metuh came purposely to commend the President for his positive policy initiatives that have put Nigeria back to the global stage and it is not just their own saying, it is not what they say they observe, we have received the same accolades and encomium from all parts of the globe.
“So it’s not restricted to the PDP people. I think we should commend them for being quite honest and sincere with their views because there are some of the opposition people who also acknowledge this very laudable initiative of the President but are too prejudiced or myopic or parochial to acknowledge it publicly, so we need to commend those people for having the guts “