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an outrage in the ruling All Progressives Congress on Thursday over the
announcement of new appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Leaders of the APC, who spoke to The
PUNCH, complained that the appointments tilted in favour of the
North and said the party must move fast to cope with the backlash of expected
rumblings in the polity.
“The President does not consult before making
most of these appointments and I can tell you that Nigerians are going to term
the party and the President as a northern party and the President of Northern
Nigeria,” a leader of the party said to one of our correspondents late on
according to a statement by his Special Adviser to the President on Media and
Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina,on Thursday approved the appointment of Babachir
David Lawal from Adamawa State as the Secretary to the Government of the
He also named Mr. Abba Kyari from Borno state
as his Chief of Staff.
Other appointments approved by the President,
according to the statement, are those of Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retd.) as the
new Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service; Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi,
Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service; Senator Ita Enang, Senior
Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate); and Suleiman Kawu as
SSA on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives).
and Kawu are from Kano State and Abeshi is from Nasarawa. Enang from Akwa Ibom
State is the only one from the south geo-political zone.
said all the appointments would take immediate effect.
national officers of the APC, who spoke with one of our correspondents on
condition of anonymity shortly after the announcements were made, wondered why
the President was appointing only northerners to positions to the detriment of
that the President was already giving the party a bad name among Nigerians.
They said they had hoped that he would learn from the criticisms that trailed
his first appointments where more northerners were appointed into sensitive
positions than southerners.
the latest appointments, the President had also named only one southerner among
the initial nine appointments he made.
northerners in the first appointments are the Director-General of the State
Services, Lawal Daura; Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral
Commission, Mrs. Amina Zakari; the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources,
Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan; and the Accountant-General of the Federation,
Alhaji Ahmed Idris.
the first appointments are the President’s Chief Security Officer, Abdulrahman
Mani; State Chief of Protocol, Mallam Abdullahi Kazaure; Aide- De-Camp, Lt.
Col. Muhammed Abubakar; and the Senior Special Assistant on Media and
Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, hailed from Osun
Staten in the South-West.
APC leader said the party must devise a way of managing the backlash that would
follow the appointments.
“Though the President did not get much votes from the South-East but we must
not neglect the zone in key appointments.
South-West that supported and was the backbone of the party, what are we giving
the zone in appreciation? We need to be careful before the party is destroyed.”
gathered that some leaders of the party were already thinking of having an
enlarged meeting where the appointments would be reviewed.
another senior member of the APC said such a meeting, if it would hold at all,
would have to wait until the party holds its Kogi State governorship primary on
of the state executive of APC in a South-West state, said the appointments were
lopsided against the South.
“When President Olusegun Obasanjo took over, you saw balance in appointments as
he reflected federal character. President Goodluck Jonathan too reflected a
semblance of balance. Buhari is pursuing a northern agenda. This is the same
agenda pursued by the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, when everything was pro-North.
Buhari made six appointments at a go and five of them are northerners.”
The Speaker of one of the Houses of Assembly
in the South-West, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also described the new
appointments as shocking.
The Speaker, who is a member of the APC,
said, “This is shocking. It doesn’t speak well at all. The South-West has been
completely neglected and the South-East too. The South-West was neglected
during the President Goodluck Jonathan years. The South-West must rise up
Similarly, an APC chairman in another
South-West state, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said the list of
the new appointees had left him perplexed.
The chairman said, “This is not good at all.
Why should he choose everybody from the North? I am sure he did not confide in
anybody before drawing up the list and making the announcement. We will
continue to watch. It is condemnable.”
In the same vein, an APC member of the House
of Representatives, said the leaders of the party in the South-West were
shocked by Buhari’s latest appointments.
“He didn’t tell anybody. We are all shocked.
The real shocker would be when he is going to appoint ministers. The only thing
that would save us is that he is mandated constitutionally to choose from all
states, otherwise, he would have chosen all the ministers too from the North,”
the female member of parliament said.
The new SGF graduated from the Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria, in 1979 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and worked
with the Delta Steel Company, Aladja, Nigerian External Telecommunications Limited
and Data Sciences Limited before establishing his own ICT and
Telecommunications consulting firm in 1990.
Kyari, the new Chief of Staff to the
President, holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Cambridge
and the University of Warwick in Law and Sociology.
Thegfhdgfhhdhhdd new Comptroller-General of
Customs, holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Criminology. He was military
administrator of Kaduna State from 1996 to 1998.