Presidency: Nothing scandalous about posthumous appointments into boards of federal agencies

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PDP: It’s a national embarrassment; government is disorganised and grossly incompetent

The senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, has explained the rationale behind the posthumous appointment of some persons into the boards of federal agencies.

It would be recalled that in the new appointments, late Senator Francis Okpozo, a is made the chairman of the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) while a retired deputy inspector general of police, late Mr. Donald Ugbaja, was appointed member of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).

Ugbaja died in November 2017 while Okpozo died in December 2016 at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Edo state.

In an interview with newsmen in Abuja today, Shehu said there was nothing “scandalous or extraordinary” about such names because the list was ready two years earlier and nobody could stop some of those included on the list from dying between then and now.

He said 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.

Shehu said having recovered fully, Buhari only instructed the new secretary to the government of the federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha to release the names.

“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 secretary to the government of the federation, 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,” said Shehu

Meanwhile, the People Democratic Party (PDP) has said it is an unpardonable national embarrassment the appointment of deceased persons as members of various federal boards.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement in Abuja that the development had further confirmed PDP’s position that the APC “administration is completely confused, disorganised and grossly incompetent.”

He declared: “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 organisational 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 competitive world?”

 

 

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