Oyo-Ita confronts Kyari at FEC
• Squabble linked to reinstatement of Maina
• Buhari cautions against another civil war
• Launches 2018 armed forces appeal fund
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF), Winifred Oyo-Ita, yesterday confronted the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting inside the council chambers of the Presidential Villa.
It was not clear what had transpired between the duo. But the HoSF was sighted confronting the chief of staff in a manner that suggested she did not like his utterances. The situation would have degenerated, but for the timely intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
This happened while council members were already seated and waiting for the weekly meeting where the 2018 Nigerian Armed Forces Remembrance emblem and fund raising programme were launched.
The chief of staff who was already seated before Oyo-Ita entered the chambers, was seen pointing accusing finders at the HoSF as she approached, apparently warning her over an issue which may not be unconnected to the recently leaked memo from her office over the reinstatement and promotion of the embattled former chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team (PPRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina.
Maina resumed at the Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau-led Ministry of Interior as deputy director recently, several months after he had been dismissed by the Federal Government and declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the International Police (INTERPOL).
President Buhari had last week directed the immediate disengagement of Maina and ordered the HoSF to submit a comprehensive report to his chief of staff, stating clearly the circumstances surrounding the reinstatement and promotion of the PPRTT former boss.
Mrs. Oyo-Ita was given up till the close of work on October 23rd to submit the report.
Sighting Kyari in the apparent disagreement with the HoSF, Osinbajo intervened and called the two officers to his seat.
Before they were reconciled by the vice president, Oyo-Ita was over-heard telling Kyari that “I have reached the peak of my career, I am not an elected officer.”
Osinbajo put the embarrassing situation under control just few minutes before President Buhari arrived at the council chambers.
And when the meeting took off, President Buhari urged Nigerians to refrain from actions that could lead the country into another civil war.
Launching the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund, the president said Nigerians should cast their minds back at the events that led to the tragic civil war and resolve that never again shall they allow the nation, by their actions or inactions, to experience another war.
The president saluted the gallantry, courage and sacrifices of men and women of the armed forces as they grapple with diverse and contemporary security challenges plaguing the country.
“I appreciate your display of unparalleled loyalty to the country and dedication to duty. Being one of you, I understand what you have to undergo.
“This administration will continue to do all within its power and resources to ensure that your welfare is adequately catered for.
“The noble culture of appreciation and respect for veterans and servicemen and women experienced all over the world is very much part of us in Nigeria. I therefore look forward to a time when business concerns and service providers in the country would give special recognition and consideration for these distinguished citizens and support the veterans’ cause in any way they can through voluntary donations, employment opportunities and welfare support.
“As a government, we desire to improve the capability of our armed forces. I am glad that our efforts are yielding positive results already in boosting the morale of men and women of the Armed Forces,” he said.
Buhari assured that his administration would continue to engage the military in training and retraining to improve their capacity to discharge their constitutional roles.
He urged all Nigerians and friends at home and abroad to donate generously to the cause of the Nigerian Legion and families of the fallen heroes and implored all to procure and wear the emblem with pride as a way of identifying with those that laid down their lives, especially the incapacitated and others still who are daily in harm’s way in order to guarantee the nation’s peace and security.
Present during the launch were the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen; and heads of the country’s security agencies and paramilitary organisations.
Also present was the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.