• ‘It’s prerogative of the President’
• Joda panel submits report today
WIDESPREAD concerns about presidential inertia and tardiness in announcing key members of the State House bureaucracy comprising the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Chief Of Staff to the President, (COS-P) Principal Secretary and key advisers may be addressed today after the submission of Ahmed Joda’s Transition Committee’s report, the presidency confirmed to The Guardian last night.
There have been concerns and questions about why President Muhammadu Buhari could not name men and women that would facilitate his work at the State House, two weeks after he was sworn in as President.
When The Guardian inquired from the Presidency last night why the President had not named his men, the answer offered a glimmer of hope that the waiting could end today, or this weekend.
Presidential Spokesperson, Mr. Femi Adesina, one of the three of the President’s men named so far, told The Guardian last night in a telephone conversation: “It is the prerogative of the President to make the appointments and I am sure he will do it in the fullness of time. There is no minimum time to make the appointments.”
Adesina, however, added that one of the critical factors had been delay in submitting the full report of the Ahmed Joda Transition Committee that worked with former President Goodluck Jonathan’s men.
He confirmed that Buhari would receive the report today and that could facilitate release of presidential appointments as provided for in Section 171 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
There were reported altercations about seriousness of the transition committee of the then State House.
At a time, the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, in response to an inquiry on the complaints of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains about irregular meetings of both committees had said he was not answerable to the Ahmed Joda Committee and he had been diligent in doing his job.
The Guardian inquiries revealed last night that the President could name his men today after receiving the Joda’s report, which among others, contains details of the structure of the public service that the new APC administration could adopt.
Besides, it was confirmed that the expected details would also shed light on “the nature and profile of men that could fit into the lean government.”
An insider said last night that going by the details and interpretation of the report, the Buhari government “would like to tinker with the structure of the civil service he has inherited and that an overhaul may affect how permanent secretaries and even Head of Service, who are part of presidential political appointments, are to be treated henceforth.”
Another source last night, also said the civil service under the new administration will be very active in building institutions of governance that will be difficult to pull down by any new government.
Meanwhile, there were indications last night that two former governors in South West may be part of the President’s key men to be announced shortly.
On May 29, 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed his men including the SGF, COS-P, PS-P, National Security Adviser, (NSA) and even Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and others.
Similarly, on May 29, 2007, President Umaru Musa Yar”Adua named his own key men. Jonathan had some men in office when he assumed office on May 29, 2011 as democratically elected President.
He later changed some of them a few months after.