Former deputy publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has questioned President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to expand his cabinet following the inauguration of 43 ministers into the Federal Executive Council.
In a statement on Thursday, August 23, 2019, Frank expressed concerns that the creation of more ministries would have adverse effects on the country, adding that the Buhari administration promised to cut down on the cost of governance.
Frank alleged that most of the ministers have their files at the offices of the various anti-corruption agencies.
“70 to 80 per cent of the ministers have at one time or the other been guests of the anti-corruption agencies with most of them still battling corruption charges in court,” Frank said
He called on Nigerians to lower their expectations for true dividends of democracy adding that they should “expect unprecedented and astronomical rise in the level of corruption in the country
“I urge Nigerians to brace up for more hardships. Buhari told Nigerians in 2015 that he will cut his salary by 50 per cent, reduce the aircraft in the presidential fleet before he became President. He also said he would reduce the cars in the Presidential convoy.
“But Nigerians can testify that this was never done. He neither reduced his salary, aircraft in the presidential fleet nor cars in his convoy.
“After his election, he appointed 36 Ministers in apparent fulfillment of the promise. Why did he appoint 43 Ministers in 2019?” Never in the history of Nigeria has any President appointed 43 Ministers. What has changed between 2015 and 2019 that led to this atrocious expansion of the cabinet?” Frank queried.
‘Kyari, Mustapha as de facto presidents’
Reacting to President Buhari’s directive that ministers should either go through his Chief of Staff or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Frank queried: “What is the President still doing in office? By this action, he has completely abdicated his responsibilities and declared himself unavailable and unfit to occupy the Office of President. His action represents a gross abuse of office and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This is impunity of the highest order and a criminal alienation of the states of the federation that these ministers represent. Effectively, General Buhari’s misguided order means that the CoS and SGF are the de facto presidents.”
He expressed confidence that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, would emerge victorious in his case challenging Buhari’s victory at the February 23 election.