When President Muhammadu Buhari won the April 11, 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria last year, one of the promises he made to Nigerians is that he will run a lean government to save cost.
But, the recent appointments by the president suggest that it is either Buhari lied to Nigerians or he has simply forgotten his promise.
The president has embarked on a needless and unnecessary ’employment’ drive, which seem to be a calculated attempt to reward political patronage.
NAIJ.com lists five appointments which raised eyebrows across Nigeria.
1. Sunday Aghaeze (Personal assistant to the president on photography):
Buhari appointed Aghaeze on Sunday, February 28.
The appointment according to a letter signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, took effect from June 1, 2015. The appointment took many political observers by surprise because the president already has a personal photographer – Bayo Omoboriowo.
Rumours that the Aghaeze’s appointment was influenced by Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka, a known supporter of the president also didn’t help matters. Many say the appointment was unnecessary and a waste of resources.
Sunday Aghaeze Aghaeze has 16 years working experience has a professional photo journalist
2. Ben Akabueze (Special Adviser on planning to the minister of budget and national planning):
A curious appointment, given the vast experience of Akabueze and also the thought behind appointing a special adviser for a board room guru like the present minister, Udoma Udo Udoma.
One would think that Akabueze is bigger than the office and should be fixed in a capacity where he can make real impact and not creating an unnecessary office for him. He is the immediate past commissioner for economic planning and budget in Lagos state
3. Tolu Ogunlesi (Special assistant on digital/new media):
Tolu Ogunlesi was on February 18 appointed as the special assistant on digital/new media by President Muhammadu Buhari. This is despite the fact that the president had earlier appointed Bashir Ahmad, as his personal assistant on new media. A clear duplication of office and duties and indeed a wasteful and needless appointment.
Tolu Ogunlesi is a popular blogger and journalist and a Naij.com columnist
4. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (Senior special assistant on foreign affairs and the diaspora):
Perhaps, her commendable performance as the chairperson House of Representatives committee on diaspora affairs between 2007 and 2015 influenced the president’s decision. But, a ministry that already has 2 ministers, Geoffrey Onyeama and Khadija Bukar Abba hardly needs anyone to function as the president’s senior special assistant, especially for a government that promised to prune down on costs. What an irony! Abike Dabiri-Erewa was chairman of the House of Representatives committee on media and publicity between 2003 and 2007 and later chaired the House committee on diaspora affairs between 2007 and 2015
5. Senator Ita Enang, senior special assistant on National Assembly matters (Senate): Ita Enang; Honourable Suleiman Kawu, senior special assistant on National Assembly matters (House of Representatives):
First of its kind in the history of Nigeria’s democracy, Buhari perhaps showed us what to expect when he appointed the duo last year. Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Musa Ya’adua and his successor, Goodluck Jonathan all had one individual as their senior special assistant on National Assembly matters. But for reasons best known to the present administration, it has to be two. Another clear case of waste!