My sources have revealed how messy the office of Buhari’s Chief of staff is. It has been revealed to me that Mr Abba Kyari is a ‘lord’ onto himself. Apparently, he advised the President he does not have any need for an Economic Adviser at this austere period. As a former banker, Mallam Abba Kyari was Executive Director, Management Services, United Bank for Africa Plc. (UBA) and later the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Bank. However, President Buhari had gone ahead to appoint Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu as his chief economic adviser. But the worrying situation about this appointment is that he appears not to have direct contact with the President as his office is linked with that of the Vice President’s office. These are worrying times, and pressure is mounting on the President not to ethnicise Nigeria’s economic policies. – Jide Salu
Strong indications have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari is under intense pressure to sack his Chief of Staff, Mr Abba Kyari and the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Babachir Lawal, over what they described as gross incompetence and lack of administrative efficiency.
Our correspondent gathered that top All Progressive Congress (APC) top leaders, as well as close associates of President Buhari are putting pressure on him to relieve the two principal officers of their job so that the APC-led government can find its footing in the present economic and political crisis.
Our correspondent gathered that party leaders have accused Kyari of been a stumbling block to the effective and smooth running of government especially in preventing memos from ministers and heads of agencies from reaching the president at the desired time.
“It’s unfortunate that the Chief of Staff to the president keeps files from ministries in his office for months without allowing the president see them. We can not understand why he does it. Files that shouldn’t have taken more than 24 hours to reach the president sometimes spend three months without getting the president’s attention. This is one key reason while the government business is not moving accordingly. This has greatly helped in slowing down the activities of government and this is definitely not good for the government,” a top party leader told Frontiers news.
Investigations revealed that President Buhari is having challenges over Kyari and Lawal’s issues as he confessed to friends and political leaders that he was finding it difficult to change Kyari because he had not seen a more competent hand to take over the office.
“The issue of the chief of staff is a personal one. He is a personal staff and I have to be careful who I appoint as Chief of Staff. I wouldn’t want to hand over that office to just anybody but somebody that I know and who is competent,” the President was said to have confessed to close associates and key party leaders.
Our correspondent’s investigations revealed that despite hoarding files and preventing ministers and heads of agencies from seeing the president, Mr Kyari is also in the habit of usurping the responsibilities of the SGF, head of the civil service of the federation (HCSOF), ministers and heads of agencies.
He has been accused of single-handedly appointing boards of agencies and other key political appointments in the country.
“Ministers are very unhappy because Kyari is the one doing their jobs. He appoints boards and key appointments in agencies and parastatals without consulting the concerned ministers. The unfortunate thing about the whole thing is that they do not have the spine to challenge him or report the matter to the president. This is very worrisome and unhealthy for the government,” the party source said.
The source, who spoke to our correspondent, on the condition of anonymity said “even the SGF and the HCSOF cannot challenge Kyari. He is, in fact, acting as if he is the president and nobody is calling him to order. He can do anything and act the way he wants without consulting anybody and nothing will happen.”
In the case of the SGF, our correspondent gathered that party leaders are also complaining that he doesn’t have the requisite experience to handle the critical challenges that the office requires, especially at this time in the life of the nation.
“The government needs a vibrant, articulate and a more experienced SGF at this time. Lawal cannot handle the challenges of the moment. This is a critical time in the life of the nation and somebody who is charismatic, experienced and one with a vast knowledge of the economy should be in charge. Lawal cannot handle what is presently facing the Nigeria,” the source stated.