Richard Kpodo, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State, has declared former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State cannot be trusted with any key position in the forthcoming administration of President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, citing what he described as Mr. Sylva’s questionable characters. In addition, Mr. Kpodo said it would be a mistake to invite those not cleared of graft charges by Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies into his proposed cabinet, adding that any wrong appointment made may send the wrong signal about the imminent administration.
Mr. Kpodo, who served as a security adviser to ex-Governor Sylva, said Nigerians were well aware of Mr. Buhari’s zero tolerance of corruption. Even so, he suggested that the president-elect tread carefully and verify the status of any potential political appointee, adding that this prudent step would lead to a proper introduction of the changes needed in the various sectors of Nigeria’s economy.
Mr. Kpodo made the comments during an interactive session with reporters. He said he trusted that the APC and the president-elect would stand by the campaign promises made on zero tolerance for corruption. He urged the incoming president to appoint technocrats and credible politicians who do not have a corrupt past.
Mr. Kpodo said the people of Bayelsa State want the President-Elect to stand by his words and ensure that the battle against corruption starts with the choice of persons appointed into his cabinet. “We believe in him due to his records and antecedents. The support base built during the campaign was based on [his] promise to tackle corruption head-on. We believe he is the man for the job,” he added.
“The promise to eradicate corruption from all sectors of the economy must start with the proposed appointments to be made into the cabinet or the transition committee. We want him to tread carefully and not appoint politicians with questionable character into his cabinet. And he should not appoint those known to have cases to answer before the anti-corruption agencies. People to be appointed into his cabinet must be those with decent character and not phonies.”
Mr. Kpodo hoped that the president-elect would not allow himself to be hoodwinked by the credentials of some politicians who boast of being former governors and state party leaders. Such credentials should not be used as a yardstick for political appointments, he said, adding, “Most of these persons defrauded their state chapters of the APC and failed to deliver votes. They have being involved in fund diversion and should not be appointed.”
He added that Bayelsa people were ready to work closely with Buhari. However, he called for a review of the state structure of the party to allow for proper planning and the take over of the state Government House come 2016.