AMCON Nomination: Banire reacts to rejection by Lagos senators

National Legal Adviser of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Muiz Banire. [Photo credit: THEWILL]
Muiz Banire. [Photo credit: THEWILL]

A former national legal adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Muiz Banire, has responded to opposition to his nomination as the chairman, Governing Board, of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria, (AMCON).

President Muhammadu Buhari last week nominated Mr Banire, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, as head of the government’s assets recovery agency.

The nomination was sent to the National Assembly for approval on July 18.

But the three All Progressives Congress senators representing Lagos State, Mr Banire’s home state, vehemently opposed the nomination.

Olamilekan Solomon (Lagos West), Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central), and Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos East) in a petition during the senate plenary said their constituents had rejected Mr Banire’s nomination.

Mr Banire in a statement Wednesday said he would not join issues with the senators out of his respect for the office they occupy.

“In the first place, let me recognise the constitutional right of the three Senators to express their views without let or hindrance,” Mr Banire said.

“It is part of the democratic tenets we all cherish and strive to protect at all times. Equally, because of the respect I have for the offices of the Senators, I will not join issues with them, particularly when it has become traditional and conventional for them to be objectors on occasions such as this.

“All I can say is that I wish them well and remind them that no dynasty or empire lasts forever. Whatever has a beginning will have an end.

“However, it is necessary to point out to interested/concerned members of the Nigerian citizenry that my nomination in the first place is not a quota appointment (as the three politicians and distinguished Senators may have wrongly perceived) requiring their special approval to deal with.

“I was nominated simply as a Nigerian in whom the appointer has a lot of confidence and who is prepared to give his all in service of his fatherland.”

Mr Banire, a two-time commissioner in Lagos State, had been a champion of internal democracy in the state chapter of the APC, putting him at loggerheads with Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the party.

Last year, scores of protesting members of the APC marched to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s office demanding Mr Banire’s expulsion from the party.

The state chapter of the party also suspended Mr Banire, then national legal adviser of the party, a decision that was promptly overruled by the party’s national body.

In his statement, Mr Banire said a similar opposition by the legislators to the nominations of Olusegun Aganga (a former minister of trade and industry), Babatunde Fashola (the current minister of works, power, and housing), and Musiliu Obanikoro (a former minister of state for defence) did not succeed, “even when, unlike in my case, their Ministerial positions were constitutionally mandated to fill the Lagos State quota representation in the Federal Executive Council”.

“I urge all my well wishers to remain calm in the face of this provocation as I am optimistic that the proper thing will ultimately be done by the Senate as has been done in the past. They should please not engage them on any street contest.

“Beyond the above, let me also state clearly that I am blessed with so many alternative contact addresses and consequently, do not desperately need a political job to survive.

“It is those who are professional politicians and whose survival depends on such that can be so threatened. Here I am, a professional in politics. Of course, if this is a continuation of the consistent harassment, intimidation and threat to gag my advocacy for good governance and the rule of law, the effect, unfortunately is otherwise.

“It strengthens me further and makes me resolute in my crusade. I shall continue to interrogate and agitate (for) issues of good governance and rule of law, regardless of whose ox is gored.”


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