NATIONAL Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, yesterday declined his appointment as a member of the Special Task Force on the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Lawal explained that his rejection of the offer was to enable him concentrate on the task of running the secretariat of the largest opposition party in the country.
In line with President Goodluck Jonathan's promise to speed reforms in the petroleum industry as well as facilitate the passage of the moribund PIB, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, on Monday, announced the setting up an eight-member Special PIB Task Force, with Shuaibu as member.
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, Suaibu expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, but pleaded to be excused due to pressing 'party responsibilities.'
Suaibu said: 'I wish to humbly decline by reason of principle. I am currently the national secretary of the ACN faced with enormous responsibility of running the national secretariat as well as arranging meetings of the party, which are very frequent these days, especially owing to current pressing national issues which occupy a greater part of my daily schedule.'
'I thank the Hon. Minister for the kind gesture extended to me and wish other members of the Task Force, my former colleagues in the National Assembly, success in the assignment,' he added.
Efforts to find out if the party were behind the rejection proved futile as the National Publicity Secreyary of the party, Alh. Lai Muhammed, did not answer calls to his cell phone or reply to text messages.
But an official of the Petroleum Ministry, who pleaded anonymity, said there was no problem as 'another more patriotic Nigerian will soon take his place.'