Presidential aide dismisses nepotism charges against Osinbajo
The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Legal Matters, Dr. Bilkisu Saidu has dismissed recent comments credited to a social media contributor using the name Ismaila Farouk from Zamfara State about appointments made by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo into some federal agencies and the office of the Vice President.
Saidu who spoke on “Shirin Safe’’, an interview programme on BBC Hausa Radio yesterday, described the nepotism charges as simply laughable, untrue, unfair and should not be taken seriously.
According to her, contrary to Farouk’s conclusions, most senior positions in the Vice President’s office, are held by Muslims who are from the north.She said: “If you are talking about religion, the most senior official or position in the Office of the Vice President apart from the Vice President himself, is the office of the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President and the person occupying that office is Abdulrahman Ipaye, a Muslim.
“The positions following the Chief of Staff’s in the order of hierarchy are the Special Advisers in the office of the Vice President. Here there are three Special Advisers and two out of the three Special Advisers are Muslims, Senator Babafemi Ojudu and Barrister Mariam Uwais from Kano State,’’ she added.
Saidu said that a cursory look at the other senior positions in the Vice President’s office indicate that religious consideration was never a factor in the appointment of the officers, noting that “If you look at the remaining senior positions in that office, most of them are in the hands of Muslims from the north.’’
She said: “For instance the person in charge of Protocol (i.e. the Director of Protocol) is Ambassador Abdullahi Gwary from Yobe State; those in charge of welfare and health are mostly Muslims and from the north.
Worthy of note are the stewards, those who serve the Vice President’s meals, they are mostly Muslims, so what do the critics mean when they talk about religion.’’Saidu concluded that when non-progressive minded people fail to win public support on their personal agenda they often resort to the use of religion given its sensitivity among Nigerians.Saidu was a law teacher from the Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University Sokoto before she was named an SSA in the Office of the Vice President last year.
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