Appointees list: The Presidency has no knowledge of its staff?

by Alexander O. Onukwue

The little matter of proving that the greater percentage of its appointments has not been skewed in favour of one group of the country has managed to be mismanaged by the officers of the Presidency.

After BusinessDay’s faulty publication of 100 names appearing to show Northern favouritism by Buhari in his appointments from 2015 till date, Mr Femi Adesina published a graphic showing the chart of States according to the rank of how many appointees each has. Ogun was shown to rank as the highest as did the South West in general.

That should have laid the matter to the rest, giving the Presidency one over its “uncharitable” challengers. But as corrections from fact checks are revealing, the list is not all what it seems.

To be sure, the main crux of the argument – that Buhari has favoured the North excessively – has no substance. However, there appears to have been so many appointments that keeping track of them should require a separate officer appointed for the purpose.

As initial fact-checks by TheCable and Premium Times show, a good number of names on the 159-name list published as the “full” list either have their portfolios or their geo-political zones indicated wrongly. Examples of such include the designation as Maryam Uwais as being from the North-central when her state of origin is Kaduna and her husband, Mohammadu Uwais, is from Kano.

Wholesale appointments, like of heads of health agencies, made even only a year ago were not listed. Femi Adesina responded that it was not an exhaustive list (even if he termed it “full”). This tends to show that there is no created database where records are kept of appointments made. It should ordinarily be no problem to verify the nature or number of appointments made if a regularly updated list could easily be found online, containing the portfolios and brief histories.

The (deliberate) omission of some of the appointments in the initial list could make one wonder if they are not considered serious enough and are just spoof portfolios without actual meaningful assignments. Are they just for settling supporters, hence, not considered worthy of mention in the category one list?

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