SignalNG- Members of the Nigerian Federal Executive Council have suffered shabby treatment at the hands of their principal, President Muhammadu Buhari after the President turned down a request by his Ministers who were seeking audience with him to engage him on pressing matters of governance, SIGNAL can report.
A top government source informed about the development told SIGNAL on Friday the Ministers received a rude shock when they approached the President with a request seeking audience with him on issues relating to the challenges they were facing in the management of their various Ministries and other assignments they were carrying out for the Federal Government at the President’s behest.
According to the source who did not want to be named, the Ministers had confidently approached the President and were optimistic of getting a positive response, only for their expectations to be dashed on the rocks.
“The Ministers reached out to the President to give all thirty-six of them audience to discuss several challenges and frustrations they were facing at their various Ministries. But the President shocked them with a cold response. He told them; “Well, thank God there are only 30 days in a month”, as if to suggest that if he were to spare a day for each Minister, one whole month will not be enough. That was the end of the discussion”, the source said.
Another source familiar with the development defended the request by the Ministers stating that the Ministers were not asking for one whole day for each Minister. “The least the President should have done was listen carefully and ask questions if need be. The Ministers were not asking him to give one day each to every one of them, they just needed a forum where they could really engage their Boss and bring him up to speed on some knotty issues. But he shut them down”, the source disclosed.
Asked if the Federal Executive Council meetings were not sufficient for Ministers to engage the President, the source said the weekly Wednesday meeting of the Federal Executive Council was not the “convenient” place to discuss certain issues the Ministers had hoped to individually discuss with the President. According to the source, “The weekly Wednesday FEC meetings are not regular and on the few occasions they meet, the President makes it a very brief meeting, leaving no convenient room for any proper engagement”.
This recent development marks the second in a row where President Buhari is reported to have treated his Ministers with contempt.
Recently, an exclusive report by this newspaper revealed how the President walked out on a meeting with a team of Ministers sent by their colleagues to discuss the issue of their accommodation as Ministers with him. Although Solomon Dalung, one of the Ministers named in the exclusive SIGNAL report denied the report, Thisday newspapers, a Nigerian national daily corroborated the report, stating that such a meeting indeed happened.
President Buhari’s shabby treatment of his Ministers has been linked to a comment ascribed to him during an exclusive interview with France 24 TV’s François Picard where he declared to the astonishment of Nigerians and the world that Ministers are noisemakers.