Okupe Defends Jonathan’s Process of Ministerial Appointments

Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Mr Doyin Okupe, today defended the nomination and sack of ministers by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr Okupe, speaking from Channels Television’s Abuja studios, insisted that before the President makes his appointments, he certifies “that this person (nominee) is of a good quality, a good calibre and must possess a reasonable intellect, loyalty and patriotism to serve his country.”

Okupe explained that in a parliamentary system of government, members of parliament are mandated to supervise different ministries “that has nothing to do with their profession.” He added that “a man that is qualified, a graduate with good experience; that has distinguished himself in the society and has some sense of loyalty can run any ministry.”

Mr Okupe also vehemently stated that “anybody running a ministry, is not running it by himself, he is running it for and on behalf of the President who has appointed him…he carries on the programme of Mr President.” He emphasized that “each minister is a representative of the President in his ministry”.

Meanwhile, a legal practitioner, Mr Tokunbo Odutola, speaking from the Lagos studios of the multiple-award winning television station, agreed with Mr Okupe on the selection process but was quick to add that the appointment process was “a three pronged process”.

These processes according to Mr Odutola, are the taken from the “legal, political and moral” perspectives. He explained that the legal aspect, as enshrined in the constitution, is for the President to make sure he appoints ministers with each state represented amongst the nominees.

The political provision, he added, allows the President to assign whomever he so wishes to a ministry “because it is his team” and such “reflects on whom our President is”. On the moral aspect, he said that this has to do with the person being nominated, who must be screened to ensure that he or she had not been involved in any criminal activity.

On the newly nominated ministers, he expressed the view that 2015 being just around the corner, “the President would not want to pick anybody who cannot make sure that, if he intends contesting in 2015, he can help him or his party.”

Earlier in the week, one of the ministerial nominees, Mr. Oyewale Adesiyan, from Osun State, told the Senate that he had been wrongfully accused of having a hand in the murder of a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, who was assassinated in his Bodija home, in Ibadan, Oyo State on December 23, 2001, a case for which he was in jail for three and half years.

Although, Adesiyan claimed that his implication in the death was a ‘political blackmail’ by enemies, Mr Odutola said that “morally, the candidate should be dropped”.

Responding to questions from Channels Television viewers via Twitter on whether the President was making the decision to sack some ministers at the right time, Mr Okupe noted that this was “a preposterous question”. He wondered why “Nigerians would vote for a man, if he does not have the capacity to decide what he wants to do, and when he wants to do it.”

He further noted that “the President is the captain of the boat, he knows where he is leading the boat to, and he knows the kind of staff that he needs to assist him to get there.” He insisted that those ministers who were dropped were still useful and they have done nothing wrong.

Maku Names Replacement Of Sacked Ministers

Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, has explained the circumstances surrounding the sacking of four ministers in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan, saying they were sacked in order to pursue other goals.

Mr Maku announced the names of serving ministers to take charge of the ministries of the sacked ministers, stating that the Minister of State for Trade and Investments, Mr Samuel Ortom, will take charge of the Ministry of Aviation pending the appointment of a new minister, while Mr Darius Isiaku takes over as the Minister of Niger Delta Affiars.

The Minister of State for the FCT, Missus Olajumoke Akinjide, will now oversee the Ministry of Police Affairs vacated by Capt. Caleb Olubolade (Rtd).

Briefing State House correspondents after the council meeting, Mr Maku said: “The ministers had indicated their interest to pursue other goals in the country and so President Goodluck Jonathan asked them to go”.

The ministers include the Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, Minister of Police Affairs, Captain Caleb Olubolade (Rtd), the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Godsday Orubebe, and the Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah.

The president was said to have thanked them for the job they have done in assisting the government to realise the transformation Agenda.

Maku also said that the former Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Mike Oghiadome, contrary to the reports in the social media, resigned to go and pursue his interest in politics.

He said the former Chief of Staff has nothing to do with the investigations going on in the NNPC.

73 Years After, Police Colleges Get FG’s Attention

The Federal Government has said that it is poised to restructure and refurbish police training institutions across the country.

The minister of police affairs, Caleb Olubolade

The minister of police affairs, Caleb Olubolade, who was speaking after a meeting with the police management team, disclosed that the meeting was to discuss the operational and training needs of the Nigerian police force.

According to him the federal government will address these issues so as to reposition the Nigerian police force for effectiveness.

Mr Olubolade was on Monday summoned by President Goodluck Jonathan to answer questions on the rot at the Police Training College, Ikeja, Lagos, which was brought to the public’s attention after a Channels Television documentary trailer on the college was aired last week.

The documentary had forced Mr Jonathan to pay an unscheduled visit to the college last Friday, the first of such visits by a sitting president to the 73-year-old college.

The House of Representatives had blamed the decay of facilities at the police training college on long periods of neglect and poor funding of the institution.

It also proposed a bill seeking to employ public private partnerships for funding not only the Ikeja College, but other police academies in the country.

There are 10 training police institutions in Nigeria, including Police College, Ikeja; Police College, Oji River, Enugu State; Police College, Kaduna, Kaduna State; Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State; Police Training Staff College, Jos, Plateau State; Police Mobile Force Training School, Ila-Orangun, Osun State; and Police Mobile Training School, Gwoza, Borno State.

Others are Police Detective College, Enugu State; College of Computer Studies, Abeokuta, Ogun State; and other training schools in Lagos, Edo and Cross River States, among other states across the country.

Jonathan constitutes committee to review Osayande report on police reforms

Minister of Police Affiars, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (Rtd) has reacted to the recommendation by the Parry Osayande Report on Re-organisation of the Nigerian Police which recommended the scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, if proper funding of the police must take place.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting, Captain Olubolade said that as an outcome of that report, President Jonathan has constituted a committee to once more look at the Osayande’s report and produce a white paper which will address insecurity challenges in the country.

He however insisted that it was wrong for the Parry Osayande led committee to call for the scrapping of the Police Affairs Ministry and called on those who want the ministry to be scrapped to wait for the outcome of the white paper.


Nigeria has 370,000 police officers ….to recruit 280,000

The federal government has announced plans to recruit 280,000 police officers to increase the number of security agents to 650,000.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade made this known in Abuja on Tuesday, where he put the number of the  serving police officers in the country at 370,000.

Nigeria is a country with 170 million people.

He stated that there were plans to increase the number of police officers to 650,000, adding that 90 per cent of the new recruits will be trained in modern policing tactics and weapons handling.

According to the Minister, the move is aimed at reforming the police and making it more responsive to meet the prevailing security challenges facing the country.

Mr Olubolade revealed that about 1,110 policemen have been trained in counter-terrorism and rapid response programme, basic intelligence course, patrol duties and operation course, adding that modern digital trunking communication network and equipment for tracking kidnappers and other criminals had been acquired for the police.

The police officers will also be taking courses on traffic management, train-the-trainer, intelligence lead surveillance, curriculum development and effective leadership in public protection, intervention, mobilisation and sensitisation training.

The Minister also stated that, the federal government has provided about nine Bell helicopters for the police as well as some quantity of arms and ammunition including various types of Armoured Personnel carriers and body protection armour which includes bullet proof vests.

The minister stated that the police received fund from the Education Trust Fund for implementation of various projects at the Police Academy, Kano to the tune of N580m.

Giving an overview report on the performance of the force in 2011, Mr Olubolade stated that the police recorded 879 robbery cases and 366 kidnappings in the year while 1,609 suspects were arrested and 766 firearms and 31, 175 ammunition recovered from the suspects.

Noting that the insurgency raged by the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram is predominant in the northern states of the country, the Minister stated that “118 Boko Haram attacks were reported in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Niger, Yobe, Plateau states and the FCT where 308 victims lost their lives and 33 suspects arrested.”