Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s special adviser on Media and Publicity, has disclosed what the president will be bring on board as Minister of Petroleum.
Speaking on AIT’s live programme Kaakaki yesterday, October 1, Adesina revealed that President Buhari as Petroleum minister will bring to the table virtues like: integrity, transparency, truth and responsibility.
He said: “President Buhari has been Minister of Petroleum for three and half years, that is a lot of experience. Those were years that things were done fairly properly in this country.
“What he’s bring to the table as Petroleum minister include integrity, transparency, truth and responsibility. Those things never change and those are the things the President would bring to bear.”
However when asked if a particular state will have two slots in the soon to be released ministerial list on the basis that President Buhari will be the Petroleum minister, Adesina responded: “The minimum constitutional requirement of ministers is 36, at least one from each state. But we have lived in this country where we had 46, 48 ministers and all that. That already shows you that 36 is the minimum requirement but this administration is one that wants to cut cost. We don’t expect that it would have a ballooned number of ministers.”
Speaking on the Senate president Bukola Saraki’s recent trial at Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Adesina played down reports that President Buhari’s relationship with the Senate president would depend on the outcome of the Code of Conduct trial.
He said: “I was at a session in New York when President Buhari addressed that. He said the relationship between him and Saraki is cordial. The interviewer asked if they communicate and he said, yes, many times. There were some appointments that he couldn’t have made without writing the senate president. He was further asked what would be the relationship in the light of the code of conduct tribunal trial that is going on, and he said, “Yes, I have to wait for that process to end and that would determine the relationship”, which I think is just right.
“The president is not going to interfere in any way and the process must play out. He was emphatic about that and of course if the process finishes, whichever way it goes, it determines the relationship between the two individuals. For a government that pays high premium on transparency and accountability, it is very important that whoever is in a top decision must be seen to be accountable to the people.”
On agitations that President Buhari seems to favour some parts of the country in the ministerial list, Adesina said: “What Nigerians want in these appointments appears to be speed, so that they can calculate how many are from the North, South, East and West, and all that. But we will get there, that is what the President is saying.”
“I will just like to say that Nigerians trusted this President, they elected him into office, let them continue to maintain that trust, and at the end of the day, they will not be disappointed.”
Otunba Henry Ajomale, the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Lagos state, had earlier said President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to appoint himself as petroleum minister was due to the president’s knowledge about the sector, having served as a former minister of petroleum resources in the 80s.
Buhari broke the news about who heads the ministry of petroleum on Tuesday, September 29, in New York in the course of the Global Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism.
After the May 29 inauguration, indications emerged that Buhari was set to appoint himself at the petroleum minister as “nobody’s hands are clean enough to do the surgical changes needed”, which was said by one of the president’s associates.
Buhari confirmed these reports when he appointed himself as minister of petroleum at the summit in New York.