Mr. Oluseun Onigbinde, 33, has resigned his appointment as Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning after the furore the appointment generated in the social media.
Onigbinde was a staunch critic of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration; devoting an avalanche of tweets and Facebook posts to denouncing the president and the administration he leads.
When news of his appointment became public knowledge recently, supporters of the Buhari administration wasted little time labeling him an unprincipled turncoat and opportunist; even though Onigbinde explained that a foreign donor would be picking up his wages in government.
Onigbinde trended for most of Thursday, Sept 12 and Friday Sept 13 for all the wrong reasons, as supporters and critics of the Buhari administration went to war on social media on his account.
Now, the founder of BudgIT has announced that he would be turning down the appointment after taking time out to reflect on it all.
A controversy laid to rest
Onigbinde has written the following: “Kindly recall that I sent out a note recently on my interest to seek new experiences and that I would be working as a Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning for a short period.
“It is clear that recent media reports about my appointment have created a complex narrative, which I believe would engender an atmosphere of mistrust, as I planned to proceed.
“Upon further reflections on the furore that has been generated by my new role as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, I humbly resign the appointment.
“I am very grateful to the Honourable Minister, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, for believing in my expertise and I also thank everyone who sent his or her congratulations to me in the short period. I have also been humbled by the faith and belief that numerous persons have expressed in me.
“My sincere interest is to see a Nigeria that grows and optimises resources for the benefits of all Nigerians.
“My loyalty to the good cause of our nation, Nigeria compelled me to accept the call to provide technical skills and this experience has more than strengthened it.
“I also want to wish the Nigerian Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, well. I will always be of help to the federal government in my capacity as the Director of BudgIT, a critical fiscal transparency group, as I have been to several agencies. I would also work to ensure that BudgIT continues to build civic awareness on the right of every Nigerian to know how public resources are managed.”
A decade of accountability
Onigbinde rose to prominence after he founded BudgIT in 2011.
Onigbinde and his team became the go-to gang for understanding the complex numbers in the annual budgets of states, the legislature and the federal government through easy to grasp analytics, charts and data, while urging the public to hold elected representatives accountable for how state resources were spent.
He has won a host of awards for his passion for public accountability and probity in one of the world's most corrupt countries.