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board appointees: Presidency explains

By The Nigerian Voice

The Presidency on Saturday said there was nothing “scandalous or extraordinary” in the inclusion of the names of some dead persons in the list of appointments into boards of some agencies released by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Friday.

It said the list had been prepared over two years ago and nobody could stop some of those included on the list from dying between then and now.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the clarification in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

Shehu recalled that the process of compiling the list started in 2015 while a reviewed list was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017 shortly before his health challenges.

The presidential spokesman said having recovered fully, Buhari only instructed the new SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, to release the list.

He assured Nigerians that nominees who are dead would be replaced.

He explained, “This 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.”

There was outrage on Saturday over President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of dead people into boards of Federal Government agencies.

Some of the dead persons on the list released included late Senator Francis Okpozo, who died in December 2016 but was named the chairman of the board of the Nigerian Press Council.

Another was Donald Ugbaja, the late Deputy Inspector General of Police who died in November but listed was as one of the members of the Consumer Protection Council.

Also on the list was the late founder of Fidei Polytechnic, Rev. Christopher Utov, who died in March but was listed as a board member of the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research.

Included on the list was the late Alhaji Umar Dange, an APC leader in Sokoto State, who was appointed as a board member of the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta.

Similarly, Kabir Umar, a former Emir of Katagum in Bauchi State, who died on December 9, was on the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, Bauchi.

Another appointee, Ahmed Bunza, died at Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, and was buried May 22.

Bunza was reported to be a staunch supporter of the APC. He served as the sole administrator of Jega Local Government Area of Kebbi state.


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By: Jerry o