- It confirms FG, APC’s incompetence –PDP
(By Olakunle Olafioye and Ndubuisi Orji – ABUJA)
Some Nigerians yesterday expressed outrage over the inclusion of no fewer than eight dead Nigerians on the list of appointments into the governing boards of agencies and parastatals describing the gaffe as a reflection of how the APC-led government administers the country.
A former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in a group whatsapp post, queried the rationale behind the error, saying “You just appointed Donald Ugbaja as member of the Consumer Protection Council. You also appointed Chris Utovas a member of the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research.
“What is it about you and the dead? Is it some kind of fetish or is it just a manifestation of your love for and practice of corspocracy?” he queried
Another social media user, Agbore Olawale cast aspersion on the APC-led government with a rather comical post. “The All Progressives Congress, APC Cemetery/Dead People’s branch want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for finding it worthy to appoint their members into notable positions.
“The appointed members were Late Reverend Christopher Utova as member of Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research; Late Senator Francis Okpozo as Chairman of Nigerian Press Council, Late Chief Donald Ugbaja as a member of the Consumer Protection Council. Nigerians, una mumu never do?
Another Nigerian on social media with the name Hon Akomolafe said, “ Many of us are alive, intelligent, energetic, very dynamic, vibrant and goal-getters… they won’t give us opportunity. Maybe because we are commoners… rather they will go to cemetery to look for the dead! God, we need your divine help now,” he declared.
In his own post, a Nigerian with the name Rennoffor described the development as an embarrassment to the nation, saying, “ this is really embarrassing. This government is just busy sharing positions to former friends and not even ensuring that they are alive. Even if they are alive, how do you expect people of about 80 plus to perform,” he queried.
In the same vein, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said the inclusion of some dead persons as members of various boards by the Federal Government is a confirmation of the incompetence of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The PDP, which described the development as an unpardonable national embarrassment, said it validates its position that the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled Federal Government is confused, disorganised and grossly incompetent.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said Nigerians can now see the level of recklessness and shoddiness inherent in the management of the nation under the present administration.
The statement read: “Nigerians can now see why the nation’s economy has been in shambles in the last two years. When we say that this government is completely inept, some Nigerians did not know to which level, but now they do.
“This inability to tidy up a simple issue of list of 209 appointees has completely exposed the extent the APC government is bereft of simple organizational skills to manage a country like Nigeria, which is in dire need of development.
“How on earth can a government that cannot compile a common list handle intricate issues of national planning and budgeting; issues of health, education, aviation, agriculture, infrastructure and management of the huge civil service?
“How can they possibly initiate and successfully implement national and international instruments for national development in today’s competetive world?
“This also explains why nothing has been working under the APC government. Furthermore, the mix up in the list also exposes the corruption in the APC government.
“The fact is that the government of our dear country has been in wrong hands in the last two years and the situation will continue to worsen unless the nation is rescued from them in 2019.
“Finally, we urge Nigerians to disregard the lame excuses by the APC government and hold them responsible for the woes that have befallen our country under their inept and undesirable regime.”
Presidency explains controversial list
The Presidency has given reason why dead persons made the list of those appointed to the governing boards of agencies and parastatals positions.
While disagreeing that the names dead person’s names on the appointment list was scandalous, it said the list was compiled over two years ago, obviously people would have died, adding that, “Whoever is dead will be replaced.” So far eight dead persons are among the 209 chairmen and 1,258 members appointed by the Federal Government. The dead are Senator Francis Okpozo, who passed on at 81 in 2016. He was named Chairman, Nigerian Press Council (NPC); Deputy Inspector General of Police and elder statesman, Donald Ugbaja (retd), appointed member of Consumer Protection Council and the founder of Fidei Polytechnic, Very Rev Fr Christopher Utov appointed a member of the board of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research. Fr. Utov was until his death this year, the proprietor of Fidei Polytechnic in Gboko, Benue State, the first private polytechnic in northern Nigeria. He died on March 17, 2017 in India after battling with an undisclosed disease was buried on April 13, this year, in Gboko.
Umar Dange Sokoto, former emir of Katagum in Bauchi state, who died on December 9th, was picked to join the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, also in Bauchi.
Also dead but appointed are Garba Attahiru Kaduna; Dr. Nabbs Igbokwe of Rivers State, Comrade Ahmed Bunza from Kebbi State and Miss Magdalene Kumu from Taraba. Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the list was prepared before President Muhammadu Buhari took ill and was released by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha without any alteration.
The Presidential media aide who gave the history of the list, said Buhari requested for the submission of 50 names each by the state chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015, which were later compiled by the national secretariat of the party. Subsequently, he revealed, the names were submitted to the then SGF, Babachir Lawal but following complaints from some governors who felt they were not carried along in the process, the president constituted a committee under Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to review and reflect the interest of the governors.
He noted that actions on the report submitted to the president by the Osinbajo-led committee were delayed because of the President’s illness and his subsequent medical vacation abroad.
Shehu said Buhari only decided to revisit the matter recently and therefore directed the new SGF to release the list.
The Presidential media aide said, “T his list is a historical list. It dates back to 2015. The President asked all state chapters of the APC to forward 50 names for appointments to the SGF through the national headquarters of the party.
“The then SGF, Babachir Lawal presented the report in October 2016, one year after he was commissioned. “The report was disputed by state governors who said they were not carried along or the list was not representative enough. “So the President constituted a new panel chaired by the Vice President. The panel has some governors and some leaders of the party as members. They were asked to go and review the list. “The panel did its work and turned in its report early in 2017. The President had his health challenges during that period. “Now that he is back and strong, he asked the SGF to go and release the list. So the new SGF did what he was asked to do. There is nothing scandalous or extraordinary about what has happened.
“If a list was comppiled like over two years ago, obviously people would have died. Nobody can stop that from happening.
“Whoever is dead will be replaced. There is nothing extraordinary about it,” he said.
The appointments which was released late Friday night to mainly online media by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, read: “Mr. President considered the approval for the constitution of the boards as well as the appointments, very necessary, so as to provide a proper governance and oversight structure for government agencies and parastatals. The constitution of the boards with the appointments, is a demonstration of this government’s efforts aimed at building strong institutions of governance, and by extension, improving the quality of policy formulation and supervision. “While these appointments represent a substantial number of hitherto pending board appointments, some more appointments are still being processed and will be released in due course. “The appointments take immediate effect and Honourable Ministers are advised to inaugurate the boards after letters of appointment have been issued.” These appointments are the single largest President Buhari has made since he took office in 2015. Prominent among the appointees is a former Ekiti State Governor, Niyi Adebayo, who will be serving on the board of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria alongside Akingbesote Akinyeye, Suleiman Mohammed and Bello Babura.
Chief Bode Mustapha and Mr. Fetus Keyamo will also be serving on the board of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation alongside Alhaji Garba Buba, Bello Garba, Gen. J.O.J. Okoloagu, Mudashiru Mustapha and Adewole Adeleke.
On the board of Sheda Science and Technology Complex are Senator Ayo Arise, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, Kevin Njideaka, Rotimi Erogbogbo, Bala Abdullahi, Shuaibu Bukkuyum, Mohammed Us, Kolawole Yusuf, Inuwa Mangoronand Gale Idriss. The General Overseer of Foundation of Truth Ministry, Lagos State, Rev. Yomi Kasali, was appointed on the board of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission alongside Emmanuel Ebomuche, Ezekiel Agazu, Israel Akanji, Anthony Fasipe, Jidda Musa, Yusuf Biniyat and forgiven Amachree. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and others are on the board of the National Boundary Commission while Gen. John Shagaya and others made the list of National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies.
Osinbajo is also chairing the Border Communities Development Agency, the National Planning Commission and the National Space Research and Development Agency
The President himself is chairing the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure and the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
Of the long list of appointees are major executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and other friends of the party.
Buhari had in October hinted that he would soon make new appointments, saying “compressed federal executive council, will be expanded to bring in more supporters at federal level, with fresh ideas to be injected into the government.
“On the other hand, I am keenly aware that our supporters are very eager for these appointments to be announced. By the Grace of God, these appointments will be announced soon.
Some of the prominent appointees who are APC members are: Bolaji Abdullahi (APC spokesperson), Chairman, National Sugar Development Council, Muiz Banire (APC legal adviser), Chairman, Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), George Moghalu (APC auditor), Chairman, Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT), Segun Oni (APC national deputy chairman, south), Chairman, Nigeria Export Processing Zone and Osita Izunaso (APC organising secretary), Chairman, National Automotive Design and Development Centre. Others are Inuwa Abdulkadir (APC NW zonal vice chairman) Chairman, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mai Mala Buni (APC Secretary), Chairman, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Lawal Shuaibu (APC national deputy chairman, north), Chairman, Federal Housing Authority, Niyi Adebayo, Chairman, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Timipre Alaibe, Chairman, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Oloruninbe Mamora, Chairman, Abuja Investment and Infrastructure Centre, Festus Keyamo, Board member, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), John Shagaya, Chairman, National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies (NIPSS), Patricia Etteh, Chairman, National Hospital, Abuja, and Femi Pedro, Chairman, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria. Also appointed is Veteran cinematographer, Tunde Kelani, as the chairman of the governing board of the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), while Joke Silva, a legendary actress, was listed as a member of the same board. In addition, Dr Eniola Ajayi, currently Nigeria’s Ambassador to Hungary was appointed member, Governing Council, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki. Also appointed is Herman Hembe, a sacked lawmaker, as the board chairman of the Michael Imoudo National Institute for Labour Studies (MINLS).