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Nepotism: Tinubu accused of appointing mainly tribesmen into govt

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's government burdened with allegations of nepotism

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a fashion similar to his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, is facing nepotism allegations, being accused of appointing mainly his Yoruba kinsmen into key government offices.

The allegations of nepotism followed the trend of appointments since he assumed office on May 29, 2023.

It was observed that majority of Tinubu’s appointments favours only his Yoruba kinsmen in a country of over five hundred ethnic groups, thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and six geo-political zones.

Tinubu’s appointment since he assumed power on 29th May 2023 indicated a visible lopsided appointment.

Out of the thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos State is reportedly the greatest beneficiary.

This conclusion was reached after a close study of one hundred and eleven of the president’s cabinet and ministers.

Other offices scutinised include the Service Chiefs and a horde of other appointments made by the president.

These include aides, Special Assistants and Senior Special Assistants.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) hereby samples a few of the key official appointments with appointees from the South West (Yorubas) highlighted in red:

Nepotism in highest places: Special appointments

President Tinubu also made some special appointments to serve in his cabinet. These are:

  1. Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President ~ Yoruba
  2. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) ~ Yoruba
  3. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)
  4. Olusesan Olufunso Adebiyi, State House Administrator (Permanent Secretary) ~ Yoruba
  5. Olayemi Michael Cardoso, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ~ Yoruba

As indicated above, out of the five Special appointments made by Tinubu, four are Yorubas.

Nepotism in highest places: Security chiefs

  1. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa
  2. Major General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) ~ Yoruba
  3. Air Vice Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar, Chief of Air Staff (CAS)
  4. Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)
  5. Olukayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) ~ Yoruba
  6. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) ~ Yoruba
  7. Caroline Wura-Ola Adepoju, Comptroller-General of Immigration (CGI) ~ Yoruba (handed over to Kemi Nanna Nandap on March 1, 2024)
  8. Haliru Nababa, Comptroller-General of Immigration (CGC)
  9. Nuhu Ribadu, National Security Adviser (NSA)
  10. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) {since January 10, 2018, under Muhammadu Buhari}
  11. Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi {since September 14, 2018, under Muhammadu Buhari}

As indicated above, before March 1, 2024, out of the nine key security officials personally appointed by Tinubu, four are Yorubas.

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Special Advisers and Senior Special Advisers

New appointed Special Advisers (SAs), Senior Special Advisers (SSAs), personal assistants (PAs), personal physician, and photographers include:

  1. Tunde Rahman SSA (Media) ~ Yoruba
  2. Abdulaziz Abdulaziz (SSA Print Media),
  3. Ibrahim Masari (SSA Political),
  4. Adekunle Tinubu – Personal Physician ~ Yoruba
  5. Damilotun Aderemi – Senior Special Assistant (Private Secretary) ~ Yoruba
  6. Toyin Subair – Senior Special Assistant (Domestic) ~ Yoruba
  7. O’tega Ogra – Senior Special Assistant (Digital/New Media)
  8. Demola Oshodi – Senior Special Assistant (Protocol) ~ Yoruba
  9. Tope Ajayi – Senior Special Assistant (Media & Public Affairs) ~ Yoruba
  10. Yetunde Sekoni – Senior Special Assistant ~ Yoruba
  11. Motunrayo Jinadu – Senior Special Assistant ~ Yoruba
  12. Segun Dada – Special Assistant (Social Media) ~ Yoruba
  13. Paul Adekanye – Special Assistant (Logistics) ~ Yoruba
  14. Friday Soton – Special Assistant (Housekeeping)
  15. Shitta-Bey Akande – Special Assistant (Catering) ~ Yoruba
  16. Nosa Asemota – Special Assistant (Visual Communication) Personal Photographer;
  17. Kamal Yusuf – Personal Assistant (Special Duties);
  18. Wale Fadairo – Personal Assistant (General Duties) ~ Yoruba
  19. Sunday Moses – Personal Assistant (Videography) ~ Yoruba, and,
  20. Taiwo Okanlawon – Personal Assistant (State Photographer) ~ Yoruba.

As indicated above, out of the twenty Personal Assistants (PAs) appointed by Tinubu, fourteen are Yorubas.

Ministers

Tinubu also appointed a group of Ministers to serve in his cabinet.

Despite constitutional requirement that requires a balanced federal character in appointing ministers and portfolios, the South West (Yorubas) got 10 out of the 45 ministerial appointments.

Here are the ministers and their portfolios:

  1. Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Bosun Tijani ~ Yoruba
  2. Minister of State, Environment and Ecological Management, Ishak Kunle Salako ~ Yoruba
  3. Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy Wale Edun ~ Yoruba
  4. Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Bunmi Tunji ~ Yoruba
  5. Minister of Power, Adedayo Adelabu ~ Yoruba
  6. Minister of State, Health and Social Welfare, Tunisia Alausa ~ Yoruba
  7. Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake ~ Yoruba
  8. Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John ~ Yoruba
  9. Minister of Transportation, Adegboyega Oyetola ~ Yoruba
  10. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Anite
  11. Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji
  12. Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Nkiruka Onyejeocha
  13. Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy
  14. Minister of Works, David Umahi
  15. Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo
  16. Minister of Youth, Abubakar Momoh
  17. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu
  18. Minister of State, Gas Resources, Ekperikpe Ekpo
  19. Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri
  20. Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh
  21. Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike
  22. Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa
  23. Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru
  24. Minister of State Defence, Bello Matawalle
  25. Minister of State Education, Yusuf T. Sununu
  26. Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ahmed M. Dangiwa
  27. Minister of State, Housing and Urban Development, Abdullah T. Gwarzo
  28. Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Atiku Bagudu
  29. Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory, Mairiga Mahmud
  30. Minister of State, Water Resources and Sanitation, Bello M. Goronyo
  31. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyar
  32. Minister of Education, Tahir Maman
  33. Minister of Interior, Sa’Idu A. Alkali
  34. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf M. Tuggar
  35. Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate
  36. Minister of Police Affairs, Ibrahim Geidam
  37. Minister of State, Steel Development, U. Maigari Ahmadu
  38. Minister of Steel Development, Shuaibu A. Audu
  39. Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris
  40. Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi ~ Yoruba
  41. Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon B. Lalong
  42. Minister of State, Police Affairs, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim
  43. Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Zephaniah Jisalo
  44. Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Joseph Utsev
  45. Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi
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Tinubu also appointed new CEOs for ITF, SON, CAC, eleven others:

  1. Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) — Hussaini Ishaq Magaji;
  2. Industrial Training Fund (ITF) — Afiz Ogun Oluwatoyin;
  3. National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) — Kamar Bakrin;
  4. Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) — Olufemi Ogunyemi;
  5. Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) — Nonye Ayeni;
  6. Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) — Aisha Rimi;
  7. Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA) — Bamanga Usman Jada.
  8. Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) — Charles Odii;
  9. Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) — Ifeanyi Chukwunonso Okeke;
  10. Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) — Rabiu Olowo;
  11. Nigeria Commodities Exchange (NCE) — Anthony Atuche;
  12. Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFCMB) — Veronica Safiya Ndanusa;
  13. Tafawa Balewa Square Management Board (TBSMB) — Lucia Shittu
  14. National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) — Oluwemimo Joseph Osanipin;
  15. Mohammed Bello-Koko, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),
  16. Dayo Mobereola, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

As seen above, out of the sixteen appointments by Tinubu, seven are from the South West (Yorubas).

Tinubu also appointed three executive directors for each of the two agencies, NPA and NIMASA, as follows:

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA):

(A) Vivian C. Richard Edet — Executive Director, Finance & Administration (NPA)
(B) Olalekan Badmus — Executive Director, Marine & Operations (NPA)
(C) Ibrahim Abba Umar — Executive Director, Engineering & Technical Services (NPA)

Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA):

(D) Jibril Abba — Executive Director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage Services (NIMASA)
(E) Chudi Offodile — Executive Director, Finance & Administration (NIMASA)
(F) Fatai Taye Adeyemi — Executive Director, Operations (NIMASA)

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Tinubu appointed eight new Chief Executive Officers for parastatals and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation:

(1) National Orientation Agency (NOA) — Director-General/CEO — Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu
(2) Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) — Director-General/CEO — Mr. Salihu Abdulhamid Dembos
(3) Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) — Director-General / CEO — Dr. Muhammed Bulama
(4) National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) — Director-General/CEO — Mr. Charles Ebuebu
(5) Voice of Nigeria (VON) — Director-General/CEO — Mr. Jibrin Baba Ndace
(6) Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) — Director-General /CEO— Dr. Lekan Fadolapo
(7) News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) — Managing Director/CEO — Mr. Ali Muhammed Ali
(8) Nigerian Press Council (NPC) — Executive Secretary/CEO — Mr. Dili Ezughah

As seen above, out of the eight appointments by Tinubu, two are Yorubas.

Conclusion

Out of the one hundred and eleven appointments made by President Tinubu and sampled by DDM, forty-three are from the South West (Yorubas).

The figure represents 38.7 per cent of the total appointments, a clear case of nepotism.

It could be recalled that under the Buhari’s immediate-past administration, total appointments to his Fulani/Muslim kinsmen was as high as 43 per cent.

It could also be recalled that Tinubu said during campaign that he will continue with the legacies of Buhari.

Reacting to Tinubu’s appointments based on nepotism, Aliyu Omeiza Rufai, @AliyuOmeizaRuf2, tweeted:

“There is no difference between Buhari and Tinubu. They are both bigots. Tinubu could be a smarter bigot, though.”

Nepotism in highest places: Verdict

Tinubu’s government reeks of nepotism!


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