Historical Mistake: Presidency Explains Why Dead Men Were In Board Members' List
Everything seems to be going wrong towards the end of 2017 in Nigeria.
First it was a pocket-tearing fuel scarcity, then the accident of Yusuf Buhari, the son of president Muhammadu Buhari and then a historical list has emerged with names of dead men in the midst of the living. Hmmmmmm.
It is not clear if it was a case of inefficiency or innocent mistake, but whichever it was, there were dead men in the list of appointments into boards of some agencies released on Friday by the Muhammadu Buhari's administration.
The Presidency is coming out to defend its decision to publish a list with names of dead persons when living people have not all been considered.
In a statement late on Saturday, the Presidency said there was nothing "scandalous or extraordinary" in the inclusion of the names of some dead persons in the list. No wrong in it, it is apparently saying.
The spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu, in an interview with reporters in Abuja on Saturday said the list, which was released by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), was prepared over two years ago and nobody could stop some of those included on the list from dying between then and now.
The list has again caused outrage on social media and it has become the talk of the town, but one thing Nigerians will now be confused about is whether there was an embargo on the review of the list before it was published to the radicle of the administration and Nigeria as a country.
A Historical List Of Dead Board Members
Explaining further the reason behind the publication, Mr Shehu said the process of compiling the list started in 2015, while a reviewed list was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017 shortly before his health challenges.
He added that, having recovered fully, Buhari only instructed the new SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, to release the list.
The error appears to have come from the new SGF whom paid less attention to the need to review a list that was compiled while he was not in the system.
Now, the government wants to do the right thing - review of the list.
Shehu assured Nigerians that nominees who were confirmed dead would be replaced.
He said: “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.
“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 panel did its work and turned in its report early in 2017. The President had his health challenges during that period".
Shehu further explained that the president only decided to revisit the matter recently and therefore directed the new SGF to release the list.
After the explanations, the spokesman for the President accepted that the appearance of dead persons’ names was a mistake which would be corrected.
The president 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.
The list was made up of 209 Chairmen, 1,258 members and now it has attached to it a tale of dead men walking.
Whether Nigerians will accept this 'historical mistake' in good fate and go to rest, is what remains to be seen.