Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest batch of appointments has stoked controversy after it was detected that a number of dead persons had been ‘given’ positions as board members.
A list of over 1,460 people was released Friday evening but careful scrutiny by the media revealed duplications and names of deceased persons and others who were not in the ruling party. Initially, only about two persons were confirmed dead in the list of appointees. Further checks have revealed at least nine dead persons at the time of filing this report.
Some of the dead persons on the list released included late Senator Francis Okpozo, who died in December 2016 but was named the chairman of the board of the Nigerian Press Council.
Another was Donald Ugbaja, the late Deputy Inspector General of Police who died in November but listed was as one of the members of the Consumer Protection Council.
Also on the list was the late founder of Fidei Polytechnic, Rev. Christopher Utov, who died in March but was listed as a board member of the Nigeria Institute of Social and Economic Research.
Included on the list was the late Alhaji Umar Dange, an APC leader in Sokoto State, who was appointed as a board member of the Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Metta.
Similarly, Kabir Umar, a former Emir of Katagum in Bauchi State, who died on December 9, was on the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, Bauchi.
Similarly, another appointee, Ahmed Bunza, died at Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, and was buried May 22.
Bunza was reported to be a staunch supporter of the APC. He served as the sole administrator of Jega Local Government Area of Kebbi state.
Also, one Magdalene Kumu, was appointed a member, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). She was from Taraba State. Kumu is late.
Three other dead person identified in the list are Garba Attahiru, appointed to chair the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa and hailed from Kaduna State.
Also in the dead-men’s list is Dr. Nabbs Imegwu, a former commissioner for culture and tourism in Rivers State, he was appointed to the board of the National Orthopedic Hospitals.
But presidential spokesperson Mallam Garba Shehu has downplayed the controversy, calling it a storm in a tea cup. According to Mallam Shehu, there was nothing scandalous about the list, which he insists was valid at the time it was compiled.