The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr Adams Oshiomhole said the ministerial list before the Senate shows that President Muhammadu Buhari was magnanimous in victory.
Fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with the president at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Oshiomhole said the president has nominated two ministers from a state he got less than five percent votes during the last presidential elections.
The APC chairman also dismissed people questioning the credibility of the ministerial nominees.
“Whose credibility? How credible are some of those who are talking? The point is that I don’t know if there is a Nigerian who knows every Nigerian. Even as I can say that I have worked for Nigerian people at all levels, as a worker in a factory, as President of the NLC, as governor of a state and now as a national chairman of a party, there are too many Nigerians I will never be able to know.
“The screening process is meant to enable those watching, it is not for nothing that it is televised, it is to enable Nigerians see who these people are. But you will find that people started dismissing the list even before the saw it, just like some other things that Nigerians dismiss without knowing the meaning.
“So, what you and I should insist on is that in the president’s second term, in this next level, our party, our government at the center, state and local government level must deliver. That is the entry point for every Nigerian.
“And when you talk of patronage, should we appoint…have you heard of Americans pointing Russians because they are experts to go and preside over their MDAs? Even in your newspapers do you invite me as APC chairman to come and write your editorials?
“Patronage can be positive or negative but if there is one man who has shown the capacity to patronise all including where he did not win election, it is President Muhammadu Buhari. Otherwise, where we got less than five percent, I saw two ministers coming from that state, inspite of the fact that he got less than five percent there. That speaks volumes about a large heart, to accommodate, appreciate and to have an all inclusive government.
“I am very optimistic that these ministers coming all of us working together, the party, the executive which the ministers belong and the National Assembly where we have overwhelming majority, we have what it takes to take Nigeria to the next level and the next level we are going there,” he said.
Oshiomhole said he has provided good leadership for the party and that Nigerians are appreciating APC better under his leadership.
He said the APC now has more members in the National Assembly and also controlling the leadership of the two chambers.
He said the APC has humbled former Leader of the Senate Mr Ali Ndume for insisting on becoming the Senate President.
He said Ndume’s defeat was a lesson on loyalty to l party and its decisions.
“We went round the country, talked to everyone that we want Senator Ahmed Lawan as our candidate. We didn’t want to have two candidates vying for the same position from our party, but you saw on that day how Senator Ali Ndume insisted that he must contest against party’s position.
“He didn’t hide but he said he has a right, we didn’t deny him that right. But you know most Nigerians like to describe our President as Commander-in-Chief, we already know that but for effect, people always amplify it. So, as commander-in-chief, he could have commanded the security service, the police chief to ensure that Ndume did not appear or is facing some enquiries somewhere while the election was going on, but he adhered to the letter and spirit of the constitution.
“Senator Ndume was allowed to go to the National Assembly not out of favour but out of his own rights and against our consensus to say he was contesting. What I did that day as you must have seen was to lobby our senators even as they were doing the voting to say please don’t disgrace the party. There is moment for hard talk, there is moment for soft talk, there is moment for open talk, there is moment for quiet talk.
“A leader must have the capacity to weave all of that together to get the kind of result you desire. As you can see at the end of the day, Senator Ndume had his way to contest, but we humbled him by the poor numbers he got but he exercised his rights. At the end he said, I wanted to prove a point. Well he proved a point which is he is not capable of defeating the collective will of the APC family, and who held that family? Today, I am privileged to be the chairman,” he said.