June 19, 2018

Outrage as Buhari appoints Dead men to fill board positions

01 January 2018, 01:04 | Simon Arnold

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

News that President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed 209 chairmen of boards and parastatal of some federal agencies has shocked Nigerians when it was discovered that no less than five persons on the list have since died.

The governor also expressed sympathy with Nigerians on the fuel crisis in the country, which, he said, spoilled the fun of the Yuletide for many people.

A list of over 1,460 people was released Friday evening but careful scrutiny by local media portals revealed duplications and names of deceased persons and others who were not in the ruling party.

Reverend Christopher Utov, who died in March 2017, is on the board of Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research and Chief Donald Ugbaja, who died last month, on the board of the Consumer Protection Council. Mr. Ugbaja, a former deputy inspector general of police, died on November 29, 2017.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Saturday, said there was nothing scandalous or extraordinary about the list, describing it instead as "historical".

According to him, "no human undertaking can be free of mistakes", maintaining that "there is no scandal" involved in the appointments.

Also the list of the new appointees that showed duplication of names, with few people appointed into more than one board has disclosed.

"The list has a history which explains the controversy around it".

The statement added that "As a stalwart of the APC in the South-South, President Buhari believes that the party greatly benefited from the octogenarian's charismatic leadership and wealth of experience as a politician".

"However, complaint arose from some Governors who felt they were not carried along in the process".

Shehu also clarified that when the panel constituted to compile the list submitted its report early this year, President Buhari had health challenges.

Shehu further explained that the president only made a decision to revisit the matter recently and therefore directed the new SGF to release the list.

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