The presidency has alleged that some forces had wanted to be in control of the government in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The presidency also said the forces aware that Osinbajo was fully in charge, of government were aggrieved and therefore thought they could pit him against the public by cooking up unfounded allegations against him, This Day reports.
A source in the presidency made the allegation in reaction to claims by one Ismaila Farouk, that acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, only appoints Yoruba or members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God as his aides.
We had reported that one Dr Ismaila Farouk recently accused Osinbajo of ‘tactical’ nepotism and cronyism. Ismaila in an article had cited the composition of the presidential advisory and competitiveness council, and key appointments like the chief executive officers of Bank of Industry and pension commission.
The article among others, accused the acting president of appointing “his RCCG Brother” Alex Okoh as DG of the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
The acting president was also accused of appointing his deputy when he was the Pastor of RCCG, Banana Island, Lagos, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who is minister of Trade, as the vice chairman of the presidential advisory and competitiveness council.
Dr Ismaila Farouk also claimed that Osinbajo was strategising for 2019 with the hope that Buhari would be unable to contest. However, a presidency source faulted all the allegations made by Ismaila Farouk against the acting president.
The source, according to This Day on Saturday, June 3, claimed that Ismaila Farouk was a fictitious name that did not exist anywhere.
The source alleged that the article was written by some forces who were unhappy that the acting president was in control of government machinery.
According to the source, the allegations were a smear campaign to distract the acting president from carrying on with his commitment to ensure that issues plaguing the nation at the moment were addressed as instructed by his boss, President Buhari.
On the appointment of the Director-General of PenCom, the presidential source explained: “There has been much talk about failure of government to replace the former Pencom Director General with someone from the same zone as hers. It is argued that this ran contrary to Section 21(2) of the Pension Reform Act 2014.
However, that section only applies ‘in the event of a vacancy.’ “Indeed, in that case, the President shall appoint a replacement from the same geo-political zone of the immediate past member who vacated the office to complete the remaining tenure.
This is to ensure that no geo-political zone loses out in the event of a removal and replacement of one particular member, when others from other zones remain in office.
“However, where as in this case, the entire Board is dissolved and reconstituted, the question is not about replacement of any particular person from any particular geo-political zone. Rather, it is to ensure that in the newly reconstituted Board, every one of the six political zones is represented.
The new appointees, covering all zones, are as follows: Ali Usman Ahmed (North East)- Chairman; Funso Doherty (South West) -Director General, Manasseh Terna Denga (North Central) -Commissioner; Abubakar Zaki Magawata (North West) – Commissioner; Ben Oviosu (South South) -Commissioner and Nyerere Ayim (South East) – Commissioner.
“Unfortunately, another controversy arose, following the slight alteration in the list earlier announced. The nominees have not taken office. So, thankfully, it is not a matter of vacancy this time. But why this alteration anyway? “Unfortunately, the earlier announced appointment of Abdulrahman Dikko was found to be in error, as it ran contrary to Section 19 (5) of PRA 2014 which says that ‘the chairman and members of the PenCom Board shall not own controlling shares in any of the pension funds administrator or pension funds custodian prior to or during their tenure of office as chairman or members of the board.’
“It is not disputed that Dikko is currently a majority shareholder at Premium Pension Limited, one of the most prominent pension funds administrators in Nigeria today, hence the need to immediately rectify the error by moving him to a position for which he is clearly qualified.
Dikko is now the appointed Chairman of the Bank of Industry Board,” he added. Speaking on the allegation that the acting president was strategising for 2019, the presidential source noted that politicking had never been a matter for contemplation by the vice-president.
The source pointed out that Osinbajo had reluctantly accepted the offer to be vice-president, a reason which explains why he has never bothered to use his office to build a political structure for himself in his south-west zone.