President Buhari

About eight dead persons were last week appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari into boards of federal parastatals. The 8 dead persons were among the 209 chairpersons and 1,258 board members appointed to head and act as members of various boards a move which is seen as political patronage for political stalwarts to secure support and loyalty ahead of the 2018 presidential election.

Among the dead persons appointed by the president is Late Senator Francis Okpozo chairman of Nigerian Press council. The late senator is confirmed to have died in 2016 in a private clinic in Benin from an undisclosed illness. It is also revealed that president Buhari did send in a condolence message to the family of the dead senator when he died. It is therefore surprising that the memory of the dead senator eluded them so soon.

President Buhari in High Spirit

Another dead person benefitting from Buhari largesse is a former Deputy Inspector General of Police Donald Ugbaja who died some weeks ago. He was deemed fit to be appointed to the board of Consumer Protection Council even in his grave probably because he is found more worthy than the living. Unfortunately, though he will not be able to take his oath of office because he is dead.

Another scary appointment is that of Mr. Christopher Utov who was appointed a board member of Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research. He is believed to be a Catholic priest from Benue State who died on the 18th of March 2017.

Apart from the appointment of dead persons into boards of parastatals several duplications of appointments were made of the same persons appointed into more than one board. For example, Sabo Nanono was appointed a member of the board of National Agency for Science and Engineering NASENI. The same person was also appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation NTDC.

Mr. Kabiru Matazu was appointed as Chairman of FCT Universal Education Board, in the same list, he was appointed also as the Chairman of the Board of Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta.Mr. Umaymah Abdullahi was named on the Board of Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, He was also appointed a member of the Federal Medical Centre, Sokoto.

Also, duplication in the appointments is noticed in that of Mr. Habiba Umar, appointed to the board of Federal Medical Centre, Yola as well as Federal Medical Centre Birnin-Kebbi.

Buhari and his Party APC

However, A presidential source that pleaded anonymity revealed that the likely reasons for this embarrassment are that the list of appointees was first compiled in 2015 after President Buhari assumption of office and was put in abeyance for almost two years until it was released last week. He confirmed that the dead persons listed in the appointments were alive as at 2015.

However, he could not give any plausible explanation as to why the list was not vetted before It was finally released in 2017.