Lopsided appointments: Acting President Osinbajo in the eye of the storm (EDITORIAL)

Lopsided appointments: Acting President Osinbajo in the eye of the storm (EDITORIAL)

AljazirahNigeria recalls that, a fourth night ago, Dr. Ismaila Farouk posted on the internet an article accusing Acting President Yemi Osinbajo of nepotism and favouritism in the appointments he has made since assuming office in that capacity.

It was cited in the publication that the composition of the Presidential Advisory and Competitiveness Council, and key appointments like the chief executive officers of Bank of Industry and Pension Commission were good pointers to that effect.

Osinbajo was also alleged to have ensured that all his aides are either Yoruba or members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). The commentator compared him with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who it said appointed his aides from other parts of the country.

Osinbajo was specifically accused of appointing Yoruba men, Mr. Funso Doherty as the Director-General of Pension Commission (PenCom), and Mr. Olukayode Pitan as Managing Director of Bank of Industry.

He was accused of appointing his brother-in-law, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo, who is the Executive Director/CEO, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, into the Presidential Advisory and Competitiveness Council.

Read also: Exposed: Buhari’s health minister, ex-NHIS boss in ‘N1.3bn’ health funds scandal

In the same vein, the Acting President was accused of appointing his deputy when he was the Pastor of RCCG, Banana Island, Lagos, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who is minister of Trade, as the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Advisory and Competitiveness Council which he inaugurated in the Presidential Villa recently.

Even as AljazirahNigeria is not holding brief for him or anybody whatsoever, this media house remembers vividly that he was equally accused of strategising for 2019 with the hope that Buhari would be unable to contest.

While not joining issues with people who are alleged to be unhappy that the acting president was in control of government machinery, AljazirahNigeria believes what should have been the major preoccupation of every well-meaning Nigerian at this critical point of our national existence should be how to move out of the economic recession and place the government on a sound footing.

It may not be out of place to say that some political elements may have wanted to be in control of the government in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari and because the acting president is fully in charge, they are aggrieved and therefore are trying to desperately to paint him in bad light.

It has been pointed out that contrary to the allegation that all his personal aides are Yoruba and Christians, a number of them are actually Muslims and from other parts of the country.

A peep into the list of aides, according to media reports have indicated Osinbajo has a mixture of Christians and Muslims in his folds.

For example, Mr. Ade Ipaye, who is the head of his team as Deputy Chief of Staff, is not a Christian but a Muslim from Lagos State.

Other aides in his office are: Director of Protocol, Ambassador Abdullahi Gwari, Muslim from Yobe State; Special Adviser on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais, Muslim from Kano State; Senior Special Assistant on Legal, Research and Compliance, Dr. Balkisu Saidu, Muslim from Sokoto State; Senior Special Assistant on Economic Affairs, Edobor Iyamu, Christian from Edo State; Special Adviser on Power, Dr. Tochukwu Nwachukwu, Christian from Imo State; Special Adviser on National Economic Council (NEC), Donald Wokoma, Christian from Rivers State and Special Assistant on Social Investment, Mohammed Braimah, Muslim from Kwara State.

Others who are on the list are: Special Assistant on Inter-governmental Affairs, Abdul Rahman Baffa, Muslim from Kano State; Special Assistant on Economy, Peter Dimike, Christian from Imo State; Special Assistant to Power Team, Anita Otubu, Christian from Delta State; Zainab Edu, Assistant to Special Assistant on SIP, Kano State; Special Assistant to Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Bege Bala (BPE), Christian from Kaduna State; Assistant on Social Investment, Amina Edu, Muslim from Kaduna State.

Others are: Personal Assistant to the Vice President, Gambo Mansur, Muslim from Gombe State; Personal Assistant to the Vice President, Murtala Aliyu, Muslim from Kogi State; EA-DCOS, Nkoli Anyaoku, Christian from Anambra State; Special Assistant on Rule of Law, Zainab Buba Galadima, Muslim from Yobe State; Special Asssitant, Administration, Koko Iyamu, Christian from Akwa Ibom State; Personal Assistant to the Vice President, Edewede Akhidenor, Christian from Edo State.

Others are Special Advisers or Senior Special Assistants to the President seconded to the office of the vice-president. Those in this category are Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs (Office of Vice -President), Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Christian from Ekiti State, Special Adviser Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu (Office of Vice -President), Christian from Ogun State and Senior Special Assistant to the President (Office of Vice -President) on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande.

Though we are not taking sides, AljazirahNigeria wishes to call on the acting president to ensure that, as a Professor of Law, a de-tribalized Nigerian and a man of God to boot, his actions and conducts, both in public and private are done in conformity with good conscience, equity, justice and fair-play.

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