The presidency says it doesn't deserve all the criticism it is getting for appointing dead people into federal agencies.
On Friday, December 29, 2017 the Muhammadu Buhari presidency announced the appointment of 209 board chairmen and 1,258 board members into a slew of agencies.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, made the list public.
The names of persons who have since passed on, popped up on the list, to the dismay and outrage of millions of Nigerians.
However, the presidency says Nigerians should cut it some slack because the list was compiled in 2015 and revised in 2016.
According to presidency spokesperson Garba Shehu; “This list is a historical list. It dates back to 2015. The President asked all state chapters of the APC to forward 50 names for appointments to the SGF through the national headquarters of the party.
“The then SGF, Babachir Lawal, presented the report in October 2016, one year after he was commissioned”.
Shehu added that State governors kicked against the initial list submitted by Lawal, forcing a review.
“The report was disputed by state governors who said they were not carried along or the list was not representative enough.
“So, the President constituted a new panel chaired by the Vice President. The panel has some governors and some leaders of the party as members. They were asked to go and review the list.
“The president’s trips for medical attention slowed down completion of the process,” Shehu said, adding that Buhari decided to revisit the matter recently.
“The current SGF was only directed to complete that process by releasing the list which he apparently did without altering it,” Shehu said.
Shehu added that "there is no scandal" with respect to the list. He said 'dead persons' in the list would be replaced.
“No human undertaking can be free of mistakes", said the president's spokesperson.
Nigerians have counted as many as four dead persons in Buhari’s board appointment list.
There have also been cases of duplications of names, appointment of questionable characters and members of the opposition who swear by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.