One of the most active ministers under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of been unfair to ministers who worked hard, but didn’t make much noise about it.
Johnson, who served as Minister of Communication Technology was reacting to a statement credited to President Buhari, in an interview during his three-day official visit to France, where he stated that it is the civil servants and technocrats who do the real job of governance in Federal government ministries more than the ministers, who he described as noise makers.
In an exclusive interview with France 24 on Wednesday, Buhari said he intends to stick with his decision to name his cabinet before the end of the month, but however, opined that ministers are only there to “make a lot of noise.”
When asked if the absence of a Finance Minister was affecting the Nigerian capital market and economy, Buhari said: “No. It is what we know and which we learnt from the western system. The civil service provides the continuity, the technocrat. And in any case, they are those that do most of the work.
“The ministers are there, I think, to make a lot of noise; for the politicians to make a lot of noise. But the work is being done by the technocrats. They are there; they have to provide the continuity, dig into the records and then guide us, [those of us] who are just coming in.
“They have been there, some of them for 15 years, some for 20 years. So I think this question of ministers is political. People from different constituencies want to see their people directly in government, and see what they can get out of it.
“As for the cabinet, I said we will have one by the end of the month, and time flies. The end of the month is coming too quickly for my liking.
“Yeah, I will stick to it. I will send the names to the National Assembly,” Buhari said.
However, Mrs. Johnson who worked very hard when in office and was applauded for reforms during her tenure both in Nigeria and abroad was pained by the president’s statement. She reacted on Twitter. “President Buhari is being unfair to Ministers who work hard and don’t make noise. The civil service is broken and it needs to be fixed,” Vanguard quoted her to have written. However, when Information Nigeria checked the quoted handle @OmobolaJohnson, the tweet was missing from her timeline.