From Chuks Okoch in Abuja and Godwin Ifijeh:
As the lobbying for ministerial posts into the new cabinet reaches fever pitch, the Peoples Democratic Party has advised that Acting President Goodluck Jonathan seeks wider consultations with the party and its leadership in the selection of ministerial nominees whose name are expected to be sent to the Senate for screening next week.
This was part of the agreement reached between the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor and other members of the National Working Committee who met with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan for the second time yesterday at the State House, 48 hours after the federal cabinet was dissolved on Wednesday.
Members of the NWC who were at the State House yesterday with Ogbulafor include the National Organsing Secretary of the PDP, Uche Secondus and the National Legal Adviser, Olusola Oke.
During the meeting, sources in the PDP confirmed that allies of President Umaru Yar’Adua, as well as former President Olusegun Obasanjo will also be consulted to make their input into the ministerial list.
A member of the NWC who attended the meeting told THISDAY that the acting president reassured the PDP officials that he would always consult and seek the input of the party in the reconstitution of the cabinet.
The party official added that Jonathan further reassured them that the governors of the party would also be consulted in the constitution of the new cabinet as well as allies of President Yar’Adua and former President Obasanjo.
He said: “Certainly, the input from the president’s political allies is being sought and would be given high consideration by the acting president.
“How do you think that the views of the president’s allies and possibly family would not be considered. It will not be fair if they are not considered since the party has made that request and the acting president has assured that all interests would be taken into consideration in the matter.”
According to the party member who provided further insight into the purpose of the party chieftains second visit to see Dr. Jonathan, he said they used the opportunity to discuss plans for the bi-annual conference of the party, otherwise known as the mid-term convention, the election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, and most importantly, the constitution of the new federal cabinet.
“He assured us that both the party and the governors will be consulted, because the governors are the political leaders in the states.
“Their views, he acknowledged, matter and to ensure stability, they would be consulted,” the party member said.
The reason for the wider consultation has been informed by the need to ensure stability, to avoid creating unnecessary tension, and in order to avoid claims of perceived neglect and marginalization by the Yar’Adua camp which remain bona fide members of the party.
In this regard, the party official said, “allies and the family of President Yar’Adua would be consulted to send their nominees. The former President Olusegun Obasanjo would also be consulted for his nominees.”
The forthcoming national bi-annual conference of the party, otherwise known as the mid-term convention, he explained, is where a vote of confidence or no confidence would be passed on the Ogbulafor-led NWC of the PDP.
It also emerged yesterday that some governors loyal to ailing President Yar’Adua are working round the clock to handover ministerial nominees to Jonathan in a bid to ensure that the president gets representation in the new cabinet.
The governors believed to be ardent loyalists of the ailing president are said to be working hard to ensure that nominees who will protect the interest of the ailing president, scale the hurdle into the new cabinet.
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