President Mohammadu Buhari
Shortly after their inauguration into office last week, ministers have been making pledges which they plan to fulfil while in office.
However, Professor Claudius Daramola, the newly appointed minister of state for Niger Delta, in Ondo state, has started on a bad note as he reportedly shunned leaders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state during a reception in Akure, the state capital over the weekend.
This Day reports that the APC leaders including members of the state exco, the State Working Committee and leaders from all the local government area of the state had waited for more than eight hours for the newly inaugurated minister at the party secretariat Akure.
The minister, it was learnt had initiated the meeting on three different occasions but always fail to turn up.
After waiting for several hours, the APC leaders had to leave in anger when the minister did not show up.
The visibly angry members had arrived the party secretariat as early as 11am on Friday, November 13, were later dispersed at about 4 pm by the Vice chairman of the party in the state , Engr Ade Adetimehin after all efforts to reach the minister proved abortive as he was said to have switched off his phone.
Speaking to newsmen, a member of the Exco said that the meeting was organized so that it could serve as an avenue for the minister (Daramola) to reach out to the members since his candidacy was not supported by majority at the initial stage.
He said what got them angry was that he did not call or send any message to explain his action.
He said: “Some of these people travelled from far places to be here today and they will still go back, yet he did not even call and now his phone is switched off.”
Steve Otaloro, director of media and publicity for the party however congratulated Dramola on Minister his appointment:
He said: “We wish to congratulate one of our own Professor Cladious Daramola on his inauguration and assignment as the Minister of State for Niger- Delta Development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“There is no gainsaying that the Niger-Delta sector has experienced serious decadence in recent times and a holistic overhaul is needed at the moment to take the sector to its desired position.
“This appointment of Prof. Daramola an indigene of Ondo State has also clearly shows that President Mohammudu Buhari recognizes the important position Ondo state has to play as the only oil producing state from the South-western part of the country.
“While thanking President Mohammadu Buhari for the confidence reposed on our son, Prof. Claudius Omoyele Daramola, we are to assure Mr President and the Honourable minister that the leadership and membership of our party in the state will support him and be available to lend him a hand of help whenever at all times.”
Otaloro, was however quick to apologize to journalists who were also there for hours waiting to cover the event.
Reacting hours later, Prof. Claudius Daramola said his inability to be present was beyond his control.
Daramola in a statement said: “I am sorry. What actually happened was beyond my control. I got to Akure late and I drove straight to the chairman’s house and I explained myself to him.”