Buhari swears in INEC boss, Yakubu, commissioners today

Buhari• Set to inaugurate his cabinet on Wednesday
• Disquiet over ‘secret’ appointment of Baba-Ahmed as Private Scribe

BARRING any last minute changes, President Muhammadu Buhari will today, swear-in the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and five national commissioners recently confirmed by the Senate.

If sworn in, the coast would have been cleared for the conduct of the forthcoming November 21 and December 5 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states respectively.

Buhari had on October 21 unveiled the new INEC team to the National Council of States (NCS), after which he sent their names to the Senate for confirmation.

Today’s swearing-in of the Electoral Management Team (EMT) comes two days ahead of the expected inauguration of the first cabinet of this administration on Wednesday.

Both events are scheduled to take place at the Aso Council Chambers, State House, Abuja.

The Senate on October 29 confirmed the nomination of Yakubu, a Professor of Political History and International Relations and immediate past Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) as the Chairman of INEC as well as five others: Baba Shettima Arfo, Dr. Anthonia Taiye Okoosi Simbine, Mrs. Amina Zakari, Dr. Mohammed Mustapha Lecky and Prince Soyebi Adedeji Solomon as national commissioners.

A Presidency source confirmed to The Guardian yesterday in Abuja that the swearing in of the ministers by the President would be followed by the first cabinet meeting of Buhari since his election in March and swearing in on May 29 this year.

The President has been widely criticised for his delay in unveiling his cabinet almost six months after his inauguration as the fourth democratically elected President in the fourth democratic dispensation.

Besides, Buhari, who had stirred a hornets nest for his claims that not all his ministers would be allocated portfolios, citing the dwindling revenue to the Federal Government, was also reported to have directed his ministers-designate, during their two-day retreat which ended on Friday to cut down the retinue of aides among others.

Meanwhile, there has been disquiet in the polity over the unconfirmed report of a “secret” appointment of a one-time Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Works, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed as the Private Secretary to the President. Baba-Ahmed, a one time Secretary of INEC coordinated the two-day Presidential retreat for ministers-designate that ended Friday after which, word went round that he had been named as the Private Secretary to the President.

In the seat of power, apart from the offices of the President and Vice, the offices Chief of Staff (CoS) to the President and Private Secretary are considered as some of the other ‘powerful positions.’

The appointment, though yet to be made public officially, has been generating ripples in the polity, given that, Baba-Ahmed hails from the North West, the same zone Buhari hails from.

Since he assumed office as the President, Buhari’s appointment of key members of kitchen cabinet has been generating ripples in the polity for its alleged lopsidedness.

Baba- Ahmed retired from civil service in the wake of reforms, spearheaded by a former Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Mr. Steve Orosanye, which pegged the tenure of Permanent Secretaries to two terms of eight years.

Key appointments so far made by the President include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) given to Mr. Babachir David Lawal, a Christian from Adamawa State while prominent banker, Abba Kyari from Borno, was named Chief of Staff to the President .

So far, there have been no key appointees of South East and South West indigenes into the President’s “kitchen” cabinet, a move widely seen by the people from the two zones as a deliberate attempt to marginalise their people, an allegation vigorously denied by the Presidency.

When contacted at the weekend, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu confirmed that the INEC team would be sworn in on Monday and the first Federal Executive Council would hold on Wednesday.

but said: “We have not been informed of the appointment of a Private Secretary.”

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1 Comment
  • vincentumenyiora

    FOR ALL THOSE IT MAY CONCERN – all that you read in this commen is true and nothing but the truth, folks!
    To say that there is certainly something happening wrongly administratively backstage in Nigeria! The administration and Heads of State pronounced publicly that Nigerians home and abroad should provide solutions for the political and economic problems in Nigeria in the hope that once you can do this and it is found compatible for the operations in the country, you’ll be recompensed! As a result a good number of Nigerian including my self embarked on that pronouncement otherwise regarded in legal parlance as an ‘invitation to treat!’ Those of you familiar with my web-site will agree that almost all that is contained in the web ties with the policies and pronouncements by the governments from IBB to present administration all precedes the pronouncements! Here are few examples and critical of the areas in question you’ll discover/agree that have been put into practical application, thus:-

    Ø Option A-4 including the card readers machines (see page [161] of my book referred to below) and the format for recording results polled in the elections by candidates. This I raised already was lifted from Chapter two of my book Nigeria – survival or disintegration! The book was sent for IBB’s, Gaini Fawehime (SAN) by hand delivery at his office in Lagos the week he was taken away on detention under IBB’s administration, Prof. H. Nwosu as the then NEC Chairman, Dr. Alex. Ekwueme at his Enugu residence personally, Chief O. Obasanjo by post and the School of Int. Affsirs and Strategic Studies delivered personally, for their attention in 1992! I understand that both Prof. A. Jega and Prof. M. Yakubu both were products of the Institution from that date so, it is not unlikely that they saw the publication – 5 copies were deposited in the School personally by me! If you were a research or post graduate student or inmate in the Institution it is very likely that you’ll come across the publication being new delivered for your library and based on the political discourse at the period! I went further to urge Barr. Festus Keyamu, Mr. Kazeem Afegbua both worked for IBB and Gani Fawehinme at the period, on one hand and Dr Tonu Iredua and Mrs. Irukwu on the other hand to refute or confirm my assertion, up to date they have not returned to disagree with my claim – and we are all educated and forthright Nigerians! In that publication you’ll find need for ‘National Orientation’ for Nigeria that early and your monthly environmental sanitation not least, to scrap the ‘immunity Sec.’ in the Constitution!

    Ø Need for a common pool – i. e TSA policy I suggested it in 1988, 1993 and by 4th June 2015 I suggested the idea to President Buhari in my congratulatory letter amongst other 60 areas of concerns same as in my book under reference – No reply or acknowledgement to that letter even though the contents of it are substantial about what we are looking forward to achieve in Nigeria! It is part of the problems – you give the solutions you don’t get reply to them and next you hear, the solution is being echoed by a Professor chosen as an adviser to the government! In other words your contributions act as ‘repository’ for the Kitchen Cabinet members in the presidency!

    Ø Your highways problems of Lagos-Ibadan, Shagamu and Ore; Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-Port Harcourt including the Lagos Bar-beach surge on instruction of (directed) both the Federal Ministry of Works and the Lagos State H.Q. at Aalausa Ikeja – the design of refuse disposal for Lagos State was delivered also at Ikeja example of it was tried at Epe L.G.
    Ø There numerous other areas as you can find them on my we-site if you can look it up all f which precede the policy declarations by the administrations from IBB to date!

    Now all these happening in Nigeria nobody has thought it fair or natural justice to either invite me or get me enlisted for an appointment or for consultation to prove or substantiate these claims so as to earn me an appointment in Nigeria but rather others are called in and given jobs and appointments all enjoying the sweat and perseverance from my thinking! I am asking is this fair ladies and gentlemen? If you’re familiar with (read) my comments you’ll come across where I talked about the valour of the lizard opting to praise itself when its kinsmen refused to so and in my native parlance we say: If you do not keep your lips moistened in time of dry season, the harmertan would work on it in harsh manner – I believe you have the same adage in your dialect! As a result I have kept mute all these years hoping that somebody within the corridors of power where my publications were sent – they have copies of them, or outside it looking up the names on the web-site on pages [2] would at least call my attention – perhaps a quick glance on pages [6 & 7] you can see a lot more about what is responsible for the poor nature of your highways! But note that the government and Sen. President Dr. Ken. Nnamani, have copies of my 752-page book titled: “How to get at your government and influence it!”, where you find most of the solutions; they have the other titled: “A Home grown DEMOCRATIC approach….!” where you find the corruption solution! More over as we are talking about corruption in Nigeria you’ll think that the time has arrived where your woks or contributions would be appreciated! You can see that it is happening particularly in the recent appointments about INEC’s Commissioners! Nigeria, I believe is signatory to the Int. Intellectual Property Protection Organisation yet I am subjected to this kind of neglect, folks!

    I said already that it is not my intention to embarrass anybody but to call the attention of all those it may concern who may not know that this kind of thing is happening in the country and within their purvey of authority! I am saying in effect that it is not fair to treat my case in this manner – i. e. taking from Peter to pay Paul and we are talking about corruption in Nigeria!

    Now, like that child crying profoundly and pointing finger in a direction here is my case I want somebody to look into it for its justification and fair play on the grounds that natural justice requires that when you do to the gander what you did for the goose, they’ll all be happy! I close my case here and thank you, folks!