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Pulse Opinion Buhari hiring dead folks into boards is national embarrassment

The appointment of dead folks into the federal bureaucracy by Buhari should be seen as a national embarrassment.

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President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hands with Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha

(Bayo Omoboriowo)

President Muhammadu Buhari and the rest of his team, love to say they hate ghost workers. But on Friday, December 29, 2017, the names of dead persons found their way into a long list containing the president’s new hires to fill vacancies in boards and parastatals.

“The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the constitution of the Governing Boards of Agencies and Parastatals, under some Ministries, as well as the appointment of eminently qualified Nigerians to fill the Board positions, numbering 209 Chairmen and 1258 members”, read the statement signed by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

Except that among the “eminently qualified” were Donald Ugbaja who died this year, Francis Okpozo who passed on in 2016 and Christopher Utov who exited planet earth in March.

It doesn’t get more shoddy and embarrassing than this.

President Muhammadu Buhari meets Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the Presidential Villa play Boss Mustapha and President Buhari (Twitter/Sahara Reporters)


The only plausible explanation is that these late folks (Lord rest their souls) were named as federal board members and chairmen while they were still alive. Buhari, famed for his snail speed and foot-dragging, must have had the board appointments list sitting on his desk forever. So, while he dithered and pondered, some of his potential appointees died and the list was released to the public without as much as a cross checking.

Another rational explanation could be that the former SGF, Babachir Lawal, drew up the list and sat on same. Mustapha who took over from Lawal, would then go on to forward the list to the president for assent without first vetting same.


It is all shades of ridiculous and totally inexcusable to hire dead people. That the president even dispatched a condolence letter to the State of one of his dead ‘appointees’ back in 2016, brings to the fore the shoddiness and sloppiness that is the Buhari administration.

This just tells you that the president doesn't even have a dossier of most of his hires; that there are no background checks, no vetting, before people get government jobs.

President Buhari and Babachir Lawal play Babachir Lawal and President Buhari (L and R) (The Nation)


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Naming dead persons into boards and parastatals should never have happened if the presidency was up to its job. The truth is that time and again, this presidency has proven that it isn’t up to its job.

This is also a sober reminder that the nation's civil service is brimming with ghosts and more ghosts.

In a serious country, heads should roll over this.

It says a lot when a president who says he despises ghost workers and whose administration has expended enormous resources preening ghost workers off the payroll, has to lean on actual ghosts to steer the ship that is the federal bureaucracy.

Cry, the beloved country.

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