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Strategic Appointments: President Tinubu shares Nigeria to S/West, N/West

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FG’s palliatives face integrity questions amid worsening poverty

Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu, a fortnight ago, approved the appointment of Katsina State born Tanimu Yakubu as the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Ben Akabueze.

Yakubu and Edo State born Ms. Patience Oniha, who was appointed Director-General of DMO on July 1, 2017 by Yemi Osinbajo, former vice president, are presently the two names in Nigeria’s economic circle, who are not from President Tinubu’s native South West geopolitical zone, as the former Lagos State governor has since assuming office on May 29 last year, pursued what some critics have described as “nepotism pro max.”

Tinubu’s predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari got a lot of flak for pursuing what many observers variously concluded was Islamization or Fulanization agenda. Buhari had favoured his native North West geopolitical zone in much of his strategic appointments, to the chagrin of many, who insisted that it was a breach of the constitution. But whatever anyone thought was wrong with Buhari’s appointments, Tinubu has replicated, strangely, without much outcry from Nigerians.

Strategic Appointments: President Tinubu shares Nigeria to S/West, N/West

Strategic appointments made by Tinubu by zones

A critical look at key appointments made by Tinubu, particularly in the strategic areas of economy and security, shows an overwhelming dominance of people from the South West geopolitical zone, including family members and very close associates.

The appointment, earlier this month of 85-year-old Bisi Akande, former Osun governor and ex- interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to chair the University of Ibadan’s governing council, and Wole Olanipekun, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who led his defence team in the presidential petition last year, as the chairman of the University of Lagos council, among others, appear to follow a pattern of Tinubu using his office to reward associates and loyalists.

The president had also last week, appointed Tunji Bello, who was in his cabinet while he was governor, as the new Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice-Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), after firing Babatunde Irukera, who is alleged to be loyal to Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Similarly, following the push back that followed an alleged attempt by FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to influence the appointment of his loyalist, Chukwuemeka Woke, as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA), the president settled for Adedeji Ashiru for the role and put Woke as the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).

Earlier in May, the president appointed Olufemi Akinyelure, son of his political ally, Chief Pius Akinyelure, whom he had appointed as the Chairman of NNPCL board, to the position of Head of Project Management Unit, Nigeria Electrification Project.

Indeed, Mr. Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, as well as Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) were in the Tinubu cabinet when he was governor of Lagos. And although both men’s pedigree and qualifications for their roles can hardly be questioned, their appointment, like many others, have led to allegations of the president running a South West government.

“There is an on-going policy of caging the financial sector by a single geopolitical zone in the country for its pecuniary gains.The total taking over of the CBN is the latest in a series of policy steps tailored to complete the total annexation of all major economic institutions by a single ethnic group in the country.

“Even the policy of seeing Lagos as the financial headquarters of Nigeria is questionable. Why only Lagos? What of Port-Harcourt or Owerri as oil headquarters of Nigeria?” wondered Chief Abia Onyike, secretary of Alaigbo Development Foundation.

“The South West agenda of economic hegemony corresponds to the control of AMCON, NDIC, FIIRS etc. by the same region. With these institutions in their hands, their control of the Nigerian economy is already complete,” he said. “The Tinubu administration is hiding under the cloak of Emefiele’s trial to execute a selective purge in the financial sector by scandalizing rival groups in their bid to consolidate their hegemony on the Nigerian economy.”

Onyike noted that the ADF has had cause to doubt the sincerity of Tinubu’s avowed commitment to the unity and progress of the country, as according him, the president is engaging in provocative policies against the South East.

“Tinubu made sure he gave the South East five ministers. Meanwhile, he gave 10 to his South West, while other zones got between seven and nine. At the CBN , he is engaging in mass sack of Igbo staff, especially directors. He has aggressively pursued the anti Igbo policies started by Buhari.”

The president’s supporters like Jesutega Onokpasa, a member of the APC, argue, however, that his appointees are qualified for their roles, and that’s what should matter.

But not everyone will agree. As bad as things perceptively went under Buhari in terms of building national cohesion, his successor, Tinubu, appears to have, in the opinion of many, followed similar pattern, if not taking it a notch higher.

However, unlike Buhari, who concentrated key security appointments in the North, Tinubu has tried to balance the country’s security architecture by accommodating various zones in the appointment of service chiefs, but a deeper look would reveal a North West and South West grip on the security set up of the country, while the president’s native Southwest has almost exclusively cornered all the top economic positions in government, in both fiscal and monetary spheres and everything in-between.

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While Buhari in his first tenure, retained Goodwin Emefiele, from Delta State in the South South geopolitical zone as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), even as he named Kemi Adeosun from Ogun in South West as minister of finance, both positions have gone to the South West under Tinubu, and so has the headship of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which Buhari had again, conceded to the South West in his first tenure.

Strategic Appointments: President Tinubu shares Nigeria to S/West, N/West

Appointments made by Buhari by geopolitical zone

Presently, nearly all revenue agencies of the government, with the possible exception of Nigerian Ports Authority, are headed by individuals from the South West; from Customs to Immigration, NIMASA, FIRS and a host of others.

“What we’re seeing under Tinubu is nepotism and bigotry pro max,” noted Mr. Paul Ibe, media adviser to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar in an interview recently. “We thought we’d seen the worst of it under Muhammadu Buhari, but we’ve not had it this bad. Tinubu is just appointing his friends, their wives, daughters, sons, sons-in-law and so on. What are we talking about? You need to run an inclusive government because that is the tool for national unity.”

In February, Tinubu faced backlash for appointing his son-in-law, Oyetunde Oladimeji Ojo, as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the federal housing Authority (FHA).

Ojo, a former member of the House of Representatives and married to Folashde Tinubu-Ojo, daughter of the President, which, for many, the appointment amounted to deep-rooted nepotism and a flagrant breach of the oath of office he took.

A civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) had in a statement, said the decision by President Tinubu to appoint his son-in-law as the head of FHA, sparked concern about nepotism and corruption.

“The argument that the son-in-law of the president is also a citizen, who should get appointment, doesn’t follow because his father-in-law is the appointing authority, which makes his appointment nepotistic and dishonourable,” HURIWA had said.

Defending Ojo’s appointment, however, the Presidency had said it was deserving, considering his work experience in the hospitality sector over the years.

A pattern

President Tinubu, in his 24-year grip on Lagos had facilitated his wife, Tinubu’s foray into the national assembly as a senator, even as his daughter, Folashade has continued in her role as the leader of all Lagos markets, with his son, Seyi said to have interest in numerous businesses in the state.

Earlier in January, a group, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Forever Initiative, said the President was taking nepotism to new heights in the country after he replaced the sacked National Coordinator/CEO National Social Investment Programme Agency (NSIPA), Halima Shehu, a northerner, with Dr. Akindele Egbuwalo, a Yoruba from the South West.

It was in an attempt to ensure that everyone gets a fair share of these appointments that the principle of Federal Character was provided for in Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, which states in part, “… that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.

To this effect, the Federal Character Commission (FCC), a Federal Executive body was established by Act No 34 of 1996 to “implement and enforce the Federal Character Principle of fairness and equity in the distribution of public posts and socio-economic infrastructures among the various federating units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

As it stands, nearly 70 percent of key government ministries, agencies and departments are disproportionately headed by people of Yoruba extraction, including but not limited to finance ministry, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

“The nepotistic appointments is embarrassing,” said a prominent South West thought leader, who declined to have his name in print. “We’re not comfortable with it because it’s not necessary. Nigeria is at a critical stage and I expect Tinubu to know better. He should be using his office to unite Nigerians not pursuing narrow ethnic agenda.”

Comparison

A look at the strategic appointments made by Jonathan, showed that while the South West and the North West shared 11 and 12, respectively, his native South South had nine, the South East seven, North Central five, and North East four.

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Buhari, on the other hand, gave about 21 strategic appointments to his North West, followed by North East at 10, South West eight, North Central and South South four each, and South East only one.

Strategic Appointments: President Tinubu shares Nigeria to S/West, N/West

Strategic appointments by Jonathan by geopolitical zones

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Tinubu, on the other hand, gave 22 strategic appointments to the South West, his zone, 10 to the North West, five to the North Central, three each to the North East and South East, and two to the South South.

Strategic appointments by Tinubu

South West

1.Accountant General of the federation – Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein – Ogun

2.Chief of Protocol- Victor Adeleke – Oyo

3.AMCON DG, Gbenga Alade

4.NAICOM CEO, Oludare Sunday

5.Petroleum Minister- Bola Tinubu

6.Minister of Interior- Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo

7.Immigration CG – Caroline Wura-Ola

8.Minister of Finance- Wale Edun

9.Perm Sec Ministry of Finance – Sewanu Temitope

10.Executive Secretary, NPHCDA, Muyi Aina

11.Chief of Army Staff – Toareed Lagbaja

12. Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila

13.Customs CG – Adewale ADENIYI

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14.NNPC board chairman, Pius Akinyelure

15.EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede

16.Minister of power- Adebayo Adelabu

17.IGP – Kayode Egbetokun – Ogun

18.Executive Chairman, FIRS – Zacch Adedeji

19. NAFDAC DG, Mojisola Adeyeye

20.Chief Justice of Nigeria- Olukayode Ariwoola

21. NIMASA DG, Dayo Mobereola

22. Solid Minerals – Dele Alake

23. Gbenga Komolafe, NUPRC

North Central

1. Aide De Camp – Col. Nurudeen Alowonle Yusuf (Kwara)

2. Attorney General/Justice Minister – Lateef Fagbemi

3. Perm Sec, Interior Ministry- Aishatu Ndayako

4. Perm Sec, Ministry of Defence- Ibrahim Abubakar Kana- Nasarawa

5. SGF- George Akume6. CG NSCDC – Ahmed Abubakar Audi – Nasarawa

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South South

1. Special Adviser Media – Ajuri Ngelale (Rivers)

2. Chief of Defence Intelligence – Undiandeye Emmanuel (Cross River)

North West

1. MD Nigerian Ports Authority – Mohammed Bello Koko

2. Executive Secretary, NCC – Aminu Maida – Katsina

3. Controller General of Prisons- Haliru Nababa – Sokoto

4. Defence Minister- Badaru Abubakar- Jigawa

5. DSS DG, Magaji Bichi

6. Chief of Air Staff – Hasan Bala Abubakar- Kano

7. PENCOM DG – Aisha Dahir-Umar

8. Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Chris Musa – Kaduna

9. ICPC chairman – Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu

10. Director, Department Of Petroleum Resources Sarki Auwalu

South East:

1. DG, NHIS – Kelechi Ohiri

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2. Minister of Works – Dave Umahi

3. Chief of Naval Staff- Emmanuel Ogalla

North East

1. Executive Secretary, PTDF – Ahmed Galadima Aminu – Adamawa

2. NSA – Nuhu Ribadu

3. NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari

4. INEC chairman- Mahmood Yakubu

5. Perm sec, Ministry of Power, Mahmuda Mamman

4. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf M. Tuggar

Strategic appointments by Buhari

North West:

1. Aide de Camp to president: Lt. Col Abubakar Lawal.

2. Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity: Garba Shehu.

3. Accountant General of the Federation: Ahmed Idris.

4. Attorney General, Minister of Justice: Abubakar Malami

5. State Chief of Protocol/Special Assistant: Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure.

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6. Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA): Hadiza Bala Usman Abdulahi.

7. Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission: Umaru Dambatta.

8. Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF): Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau.

9. Managing Director, Asset Management Company of Nigeria, (AMCON): Ahmed Lawan Kuru.

10. Controller General of Nigerian Prison Service (NPS): Ahmed Ja’afaru.

11. CEO, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mohammed Kari

12. Petroleum Minister: Muhammadu Buhari

13. Minister of Interior: Abulrahman Dambazau.

14. Controller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service: Mohammed Babandede.

15. Defence Minister: Dan Ali

17. Perm Sec. Ministry of Interior: Mohammed Bello Umar.

16. Perm Sec. Ministry of Finance: Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse.

17. Permanent Sec, Ministry of Defence, Nuratu Jimoh Batagarawa.

18. Executive Secretary, NHIS: Usman Yusuf

19. MD, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company: Mr Abbas Umar Masanawa.

20. Director General of DSS: Lawal Daura (later Magaji Bichi).

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North East:

1. National Security Adviser: Babagana Monguno.

2. Chief of Army Staff: Tukur Buaratai.

3. Chief of Air Staff: Sadique Abubakar.

4. Group Managing Director (NNPC): Maikanti Kacalila Baru.

5. Chairperson, INEC: Mahmood Yakubu.

6. Secretary to Government of the Federation: Babachir Lawal

7. Chief of Staff to the President: Abba Kyari.

8. Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service: Hameed Ibrahim Ali.

9. Perm. Sec. Ministry of power, works and housing: Mohammed Bukar.

10. Chairman, EFCC: Ibrahim Magu.

North Central:

1. Director, Department Of Petroleum Resources: Modecai Baba Ladan.

2. Commandant General, (NSCDC): Abdullahi Muhammadu.

3. Inspector General of Police (IGP): Ibrahim Idris.

4. Chief of Defence Intelligence: Monday Riku Morgan.

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South West:

1. Executive Chairman, FIRS: Babatunde Fowler.

2. Minister of Power, Works: Babatunde Fashola.

3. Director General, PENCOM: Funso Doherty (later Aisha Dahir-Umar)

4. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity: Femi Adesina.

5. Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonishakin.

6. ICPC chairman: Bolaji F. Owansanoye.

7. DG, NAFDAC: Prof Moji Christianah Adeyeye.

8. Minister of Finance: Kemi Adeosun

9. Solid Minerals – Kayode Fayemi

South South:

1. Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN): Godwin Emefiele.

2. CJN, Hon. Justice Nkanu Onnoghen (later replaced by Tanko Muhammad)

3. Director General, NIMASA: Dakuku Peterside.

4. Chief of Naval Staff: Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas.

South East:

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1. Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama

Strategic appointments by Jonathan

South South

1. DSS DG, Ita Ekpeyong.

2. Minister for Petroleum – Diezani Alison-Madueke

3.Niger Delta Affairs – Elder Godsday Orubebe

4. Minister of Works – Arc. Mike Onolememen

5. NIMASA DG, Patrick Akpabolokemi

6. Chief of Staff – Mike Oghiadome

7. NCC Executive Secretary – Eugene Juwah

8. NDDC DG – Christiana Atako

9. Perm Sec, Ministry of Works – Godknows Igali

South East

1. Chief of Army Staff – Azubuike Ihejirika

2. Minister of Power – Barth Nnaji

3. Minister of Finance – Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

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4. SGF – Anyim Pius

5. PENCOM DG, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu

6. AMCON DG, Chike Obi

South West

1. Chief of Defence Staff – Air Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin

2. Minister of Defence – Adetokumbo Kayode

3. Accountant General – MR. Jonah Otunla

4. DPR Director – George Osahon

5. SSA media – Reuben Abati

6. Chief of Protocol – Olutola J. Onijala.

7. Executive Secretary, PTDF – Dr. Oluwole Oluleye

8. CEO NAICOM – Fola Daniel

9. Commandant, NSCDC – Dr Ade Abolurin

10. Foreign Affairs – Gbenga Ashiru

11. Police Affairs- Caleb Olubolade

North Central:

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1. Chief of Naval Staff – Rear Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim

2. Interior Minister, Abba Moro

3. Attorney General/Justice Minister – Mohammed B. Adoke

4. Aide De Camp – Col. Ojogbane Adegbe

5. Immigration CG – David Parradang

North West

1. Chief of Air Staff – Mohammed Dikko Umar, Chief of Air Staff

2. IGP – Hafiz Ringim

3. NPA DG – Habibu Abdullahi

4. Customs DG, Abdullahi Dikko

5. CBN governor – Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

6. NNPC DG – Andrew Yakubu

7. INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega

8. NSA – Col Sambo Dasuki

9. Defence Minister – Haliru Mohammed Bello

10. Perm Sec, Ministry of Petroleum – Alhaji Salisu Gusau

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11. Perm Sec, SGF office, Alhassan Gana.

12. Solid Minerals – Musa Sada

North East

1. CG, Prisons – Zakari Ibrahim

2. FIRS Executive Chair – Kabiru Mashi

3. Chief Justice – Aloma Muhtar

4. Perm Sec, Police Affairs Ministry – Alhaji Aliyu Ismaila

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