With the appointment of the former Governor of Benue State, Senator George Akume as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our tears in the North Central have been wiped away.
To the glory of God, our zone now has two key figures in the government. Aside from the SGF, another prominent leader of our zone in the person of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State has been the National Chairman of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last 15 months.
While Senator Adamu, controls the affairs of our party through the instrumentality of the National Working Committee (NWC), our brand-new SGF is the engine room of Tinubu’s administration. Thus, President Tinubu has wiped away the tears of the APC members who worked for his victory in the North Central geopolitical zone.
Weeks ago, when the positions of the Deputy Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives were zoned by the president and the leadership of our great party to the North West geopolitical zone, we protested against the sidelining of the North Central and appealed for the review of the zoning arrangement given our contributions to the Tinubu’s presidency during the presidential election.
The announcement of the appointment of the two kitchen cabinet positions on Friday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chief of Staff to the President has addressed our demand. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was named as Chief of Staff while our own Akume was named the SGF.
The SGF’s office serves as the frontline advisory institution to the office of the president, monitors and coordinates the implementation of government policies and programmes in line with the programmes of the ruling government, ensures harmonization in the policies of the government and evaluates the performance of the ministers and Permanent Secretary on behalf of the president. The SGF represents the president when he’s delegated to do so.
Under the office of the SGF, there are 21 federal agencies and six offices. Each of the six offices is run and managed like a ministry and they are headed by a permanent secretary.
The agencies being supervised by the SGF are; the Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, National Energy Council, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, National Lottery Trust Fund, National Agency for the Control of Aids, Nigeria National Merit Award, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Bureau of Public Enterprises and Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission.
Others are; the National Agency for the Control of Aids, New Partnership for African Development, National Commission for Refugees, ServiCom, Federal Character Commission, Revenue, Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission, Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, National Pension Commission and Border Communities Development Agency.
The six offices under Akume are; Special Duties Office; Cabinet Affairs Office, Special Services Office, Ecological Fund Office, General Services Office, and Political and Economic Affairs Office.
Thanking the president for this recognition and reward for our contribution during the presidential election, I’m optimistic that the six states in our zone, Kwara, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Niger and Kogi will be better for it. As a former governor of Benue, a senator and a minister, Senator Akume will ensure all the six states and Nigerians benefit from this administration.
To whom much is given, much is expected, with this, we need to double our support to the president to enable him to deliver his pact with Nigerians as captured in the Renewed Hope Agenda.
Since 1999 when the country returned to civil rule, six persons have been appointed as the SGF, none of them came from the North Central while the North East has produced four occupants of the office namely; Babagana Kingibe, Mahmud Yayale Ahmed, Babachir David Lawal, and the immediate past occupant of the office, Boss Mustapha. The South East and South South had produced one occupant of the office in the persons of Anyim Pius Anyim and Ufot Ekaette, respectively.
For our three brothers, who are in the race for the National Assembly leadership; Senator Sani Musa ( Senate President), the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase (Speaker) and Yusuf Gagdi (Speaker), it is time for them to withdraw from the race in line with the decision of the president and our party. Don’t rock the boat, we have been rewarded.
Tajo is the Chairman, North Central Progressives For Development