Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately fill the state’s slot in his cabinet by naming the replacement for the late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. James Ocholi.
In a statement they issued on Thursday in Abuja, the stakeholders endorsed former governorship aspirant, Alhaji Idris Naibi Maiyanga, as their candidate for the vacant ministerial slot.
The APC leaders lamented that the state had remained without a representative in the Federal Executive Council (FEC), several months after the death of Ocholi.
They said that Maiyanga who was the former state coordinator of the Buhari Support Organisation is fit for the office and was not being investigated by any of the anti-graft agencies.
The spokesperson of the stakeholders, Dr. Abdullahi Baba Abdul, said that Kogi had suffered a lot of setbacks without a representative in the federal cabinet and urged President Buhari to appoint a replacement for the late Ocholi.
According to him, it was natural that reward should come for people that have consistently conducted themselves in good manner, describing Maiyanga as a politician who is not only qualified for the office, but was instrumental in building of the party in the state.
He condemned those he accused of working to hijack the leadership of the party in the state and urged the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello to address the plight of the ordinary people of the state and pay the workers’ salaries.
Abdul said: “We are against their hijacking of the party because they came when elections had been won. As decampees, they have no rights to assemble themselves and claim to be leaders of the party. Moreover, they are crying more than the bereaved.
“It is the prerogative of the President to appoint anybody as minister but as politicians, we are also appealing to him to appoint a minister from Kogi as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to appear as if we are compelling him but we are appealing. It is a constitutional issue. If we had a representation, he would have been liaising with the state governor to address the plight of Kogi people. We will not want to give an ultimatum
“Maiyanga was the one who won the CPC ticket that was later given to the late Ocholi. This candidate we are rooting for, by providence, the state executive has nominated him and forwarded his name as the first candidate for this replacement. It is in public domain. He is our choice of candidate to replace the late Ocholi. By whatever lens he is looked at, he is qualified,” Abdul said.