PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari shocked lobbyists on Friday by reappointing the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha and his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari.
It was learnt that the President returned the two leaders to his inner team in order to ensure continuity.
Buhari was also said to have used the appointments to demonstrate that he cannot be stampeded by anybody or group.
The President was said to be angered by isolated protests against Kyari and his nephew, Mamman Daura over cabinet appointments.
In two separate statements by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari had approved the reappointment of Mustapha, Kyari and 11 personal aides.
The 11 aides are Mohammed Sarki Abba (Senior Special Assistant to the President (Household and Social Events); Ya’u Shehu Darazo (Senior Special Assistant to the President on Special Duties); Dr. Suhayb Sanusi Rafindadi (Personal Physician to the President); Amb. Lawal A. Kazaure (State Chief of Protocol); Sabiu Yusuf – Special Assistant (Office of the President); Saley Yuguda – Special Assistant (House Keeping).
Others are Ahmed Muhammed Mayo-Special Assistant (Finance & Administration); Mohammed Hamisu Sani – Special Assistant (Special Duties); Friday Bethel – Personal Assistant (General Duties); Sunday Aghaeze – Personal Assistant (State Photographer); and Bayo Omoboriowo – Personal Assistant (Presidential Photographer).
Investigation revealed that there had been issues within the kitchen cabinet of the President and outside on the choice of aides and cabinet members.
Although the President kept mum on his direction, he was overwhelmed and bemused by agitations over his personal aides and ministerial nominees.
A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said: “In all honesty, the reappointment of Mustapha, Kyari and all other aides was informed by the need for continuity. He felt it is not easy having a new Chief of Staff managing his schedule.
“He is appreciative of their loyalty, especially when he had medical challenges. Despite insinuations, he decided to sustain the bond between him and his aides.
“There was no single leak on his health status until the President himself opened up after recovery.
“A few names were recommended to replace Kyari but the President weighed all options and it was difficult to understand why he should drop Kyari whose sense of duty and commitment he appreciates.
“Security reports on some of these recommended nominees were unfavourable. One of the nominees was actually linked with slush funds traced to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha and his family.”
Findings however revealed that sponsored demonstrations against Kyari and his nephew actually made Buhari to do what a source described as “damning the consequences.”
Another source added: “The President has shown that he cannot be stampeded by anybody or group. He was shocked by the isolated protests against Kyari and his nephew, Mallam Mamman Daura, in Abuja and Kaduna.
“Security reports indicated that some desperate office seekers were behind the protests. The President felt the protests were personalised and he was not ready to condone the desperation.
“From the feelers at hand, the protests actually triggered the reappointment of Kyari. The President decided to be his own man rather than being intimidated by outside forces.
“Buhari has a peculiar fixation as a leader with a military background. He detests being forced or intimidated to take a decision on any issue or appointment.
“I think those who bankrolled the protests got it wrong because Buhari was angry with their desperation. Heckling at Daura’s residence in Kaduna by the protesters weighed heavily in favour of Kyari.
“As at the time Buhari went to Saudi Arabia, a former Minister was among the leading favourites to succeed Kyari.
“While in Saudi Arabia, a respected influential person in the power corridors even whispered to the ex-minister not to decline being the Chief of Staff if offered by the President.
“We do not know whether or not the ex-minister refused to accept to be the Chief of Staff and Buhari took advantage to retain Kyari.”
But a source admitted that Daura and powerful kitchen cabinet members (the Cabal) played a major role in the retention of Kyari and the 11 aides.
The government source said: “Those who wanted drastic changes in Buhari’s strategic aides actually wanted to dismantle the kitchen cabinet of the President, whose arrowhead is Daura. All over the world, it is always difficult to tamper with any power cabal.
“The truth is that the President has absolute faith in the judgment of his nephew because when it was rough for him, only Daura was the last man standing. It was Daura who recommended Kyari for the job. To drop the Chief of Staff will be a slight on Daura.
“The retention of Kyari has deepened the bond between the President and Daura.”
Asked what will change, the source added: “I think the President will pay more interest to the conduct and activities of these aides around him.” [THE NATION]