In 2015 after the cabinet was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, a group of us who were members of the National Executive Officers and Members of the defunct CPC Merger Committee decided to form a group known as the Governance Support Group.
The objective of the Group was to advise and influence the policy thrust of the government from behind the scenes.
Some of the members of the Group were: Emeka Nwajiuba, Saddiya Farouk Umar, Garba Sani, General Jonathan India Garba, Arch Bulama Waziri, Pastor Longe, Chris Hassan, Okoi Obono-Obla, Osita Okechukwu, Ahmed Gambo, Captain Bala Jubrin, Hajiya Chilla Baba Jidda, etc.
We met a couple of times and brainstormed and reduced our discussion into documents that we passed to the Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, for the attention of President Buhari.
President Buhari granted us the audience to see him more than three times.
In early 2016 we held a meeting to discuss the failure to remove a lot of high-ranking officials that were appointed into positions in government by the Goodluck Jonathan regime which was quietly causing some disquiet in the APC.
We decided that four of us would be selected to speak on various issues that we thought we should dialogue and engage with President Buhari when our request to have an audience was granted.
Gladly our request was granted and we were received by President Muhammadu Buhari in the executive chambers hall in the Villa.
I was asked to speak on one of the troubling issues in the polity concerning the preponderance of appointees of PDP in an APC government and the imperative of their removal and their replacement with APC members.
I spoke about the need for the President to remove these officials because PDP was taunting us that ‘APC was in power but PDP was in government’.
After I finished my remark President Buhari singled me out and severely berated me for suggesting that he should sack PDP sympathizers in government and their replacement with APC members.
He said my suggestion was too aggressive and that he would never remove those appointed into government by the opposition PDP because they are Nigerians and they have not erred.
He asked me if I sacked them where I expected them to survive or fend for their families.
He bluntly told us that he would never sack anyone that has not erred purely on partisan grounds because they are Nigerians.
This brought out the compassionate side of President Buhari to me and all in attendance at the meeting. I guess this side of the President was unknown to lots of Nigerians.
@ Okoi Obono-Obla