goes beyond political considerations because the person to occupy the position
that was made very popular and powerful by the late Mallam Kyari must not only
be conversant with the direction of the government, the person must also be a
known and intimate person to his boss.
of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari has once again opened another round of
struggle in the administration.Kyari, often referred to as “the red cap chief”
died in a private hospital in Lagos after being declared COVID-19 positive.
With underlying illnesses, he could not win the battle against coronavirus.
During the about five years he held sway, he fought many battles with some
other aides and appointees of his principal. Most of the battles were fought in
faced with another “crisis” of selecting his new Chief of Staff. Anyone close
to the President will know that the situation at hand presents one of those
scenarios the President had tried to avoid because of the political backlash
that is associated with it. The President has been accused of being clannish
and even described by some of his critics as a religious bigot who only
surround himself more with people of his ethnic extraction and Islamic faith.
going to be internal crisis between the first family under the control of the
First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari and the alleged cabal within the Presidency in the
choice of who becomes the Chief of Staff. While the members of the kitchen
cabinet of the President described as the cabal would want to have firm control in the choice of Malam Kyari’s
successor, the First Lady would not want a repetition of what happened before
when she bitterly complained that her husband’s administration had been
hijacked by a cabal
anybody, President Buhari is the person that has the final say in this matter.
He might decide to retain his pattern of selecting his personal aides from his
clan, tribe or religion. He might also decide to surprise Nigerians by being
ethnic conscious and move outside his northern zone to choose his Chief of
Staff. One thing that is paramount in the choice he will make is that he needs
someone that not only knows the mission and vision of his administration, but
also one that is an embodiment of uprightness who will tell him the true state
of affairs. Already, some personalities have been mentioned as possible
replacement of Malam Kyari.
prominently is Ambassador Babagana
Kingibe. He is a diplomat who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from
1993 to 1995, Minister of Internal Affairs from 1995 to 1997, Minister of Power
and Steel from 1997 to 1998; and Secretary to the Government of the Federation
from 2007 to 2008. He has been acting as chief of staff since Kyari left the
scene. Some have argued that his choice may not get the blessings of the first
family as he is viewed as another strong-willed character that would wield a
big influence on the President, if selected.
been mentioned as a possible replacement of the late Chief of Staff is the
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu
Adamu. He is said to be an inner member of President Buhari’s kitchen
cabinet and one that has an unfettered access to the President. For some Adamu
does not belong to any group in the presidency and is seen as a one man cabal.
prominently is the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retired). It was
rumoured that he was the President’s choice in 2015 before the equation
changed. Ali was a patron of the Presidential Campaign Committee set up by the
First Lady in the 2019 election. This presupposes that he is a close member of
the first family. But one of the huddles that he might face is his
uncompromising stance. He, like Adamu Adamu appears to be a one man squad that
could hardly succumb to manipulations.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, under the administration of
late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Although, it’s not yet clear the characters behind the Bauchi state born
politician, some analysts have said that he may not be trusted by power brokers
in the present political configuration.
Abba Ali is also considered as one of the very good hands
for office of the Chief of staff to the president. Senator Abba Ali is an
educationalist and a politician. He was a principal of schools, Chairman local
government and senator in 1979. He’s a strong voice in the northern
political strategic structure. As a
senator in 1979, he helped to harmonize the usual frosty relationship between
the legislature and the executive. Senator Abba Ali presently, is a non legal
practitioner in Federal judicial Service commission and Chairman African NEPAD.
In July 2019, President Buhari approved the constitution of the 13-member
National Governing Council of the African Peer Review Mechanism APRM, naming
Senator Abba Ali as its Chairman and Princess Gloria Akobundu as Secretary of
Council. Also from Katsina, Abba Ali is a former classmate of the President and
his close friend. el-Rufai The name of the governor of Kaduna State featured
prominently as a possible replacement for the late Abba Kyari before the 2019
presidential election. But whether there is any consideration again of the
Kaduna strongman is left for Mr. President alone to decide. The governor has
just recovered from the COVID-19 disease. It is not clear if he will leave the
governorship of Kaduna, the northern political capital for the CoS office, if
outside his ethnic sphere, former governor of Ogun State and the Senator
representing Ogun Central Senatorial District of Ogun State, Chief Ibikunle Amosun, is one of those
that may be selected. Some have argued that Amosun is a family friend of the
Buhari’s and could fit in well as a replacement for the late Chief of Staff.