Ogun, Imo and Kano top the list of states with the highest number of appointees in the President muhammadu Buhari-led federal government.
The statistics is contained in a list of all appointments made so far by Buhari since he assumed office released by the presidency Friday.
Special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, made the lists available, while refuting media reports suggesting that appointments made by President Buhari under the present administration are lopsidedly tilted towards the North.
“Here is an updated table of President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments, disproving the allegations of lopsidedness”, he noted on the list made available to newsmen on Friday evening.
A graphic illustration of different states containing the number of appointees indicated that Ogun State topped the list of highest number of appointees with 21, while Imo and Kano States followed with 15 each, even as Edo and Katsina came next with 14 appointments each.
Zamfara, Sokoto, Oyo, Enugu, Ekiti and Akwa Ibom States have four appointees each, while Kebbi has three.
Ebonyi and Abia States have two appointees each, while the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has no appointee.
The presidency released the list in response to a report by a national newspaper which pegged the number of Northerners appointed by the president at 81.
In a statement he issued to this effect, Adesina described the said report as misleading and mischievous.
The presidential spokesman noted that the report is either an uninformed bid or mischievous effort to mislead Nigerians and depict the present administration in bad light.
He said, “Although the publication claims to be a fact-checking reportage, what it did essentially is roughly putting together a string of misleading statements across two pages of a newspaper.
“To push this biased reportage, which wrongly claimed that 81 of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 100 appointees are Northerners, the writer unilaterally selected 100 appointees to drive home the distraction presented as “facts”.
Adesina stated that to “claim, suggest or attempt to insinuate that the President’s appointments are tilted in favour of a section of the country is simply untrue and certainly uncharitable”.
He observed that the authors of the report did not even bother to cross “the t’s and dot the i’s properly”
Faulting the report, he said, “For instance, the author wrongly named the Director-General, NISER, as Haruna Yerima, whereas the DG, NISER is actually Folarin Gbadebo-Smith. Again, the author wrongly identified the CEO, NDLEA as Muhammad Abdallah. However, Mrs. Roli Bode-George is the CEO, NDLEA. Why will a publication of the status of Business Day embark on such shoddiness, or are we to conclude this was calculated to create a particular perception?
“The article also wrongly named Tunde Irukera as Executive Secretary of CPP,-whatever that is- instead of Consumer Protection Council (CPC). Rather conveniently, the publication ignored mentioning that Mr Emeka Nwankpa is chairman of CPC. Not only that, the writer claimed that the Director-General of the Budget Office is Aliyu Gusau, whereas Mr. Ben Akabueze is the actual DG, Budget Office.
“Besides, the publication made not just one, but several errors on names and positions, in what could be seen as a deliberate attempt to mislead the reading public, along the lines of some intended distortions of the truth.
“For example, there are several other appointments the publication failed to mention, which clearly shows the fair geopolitical spread of President Buhari’s appointees. For instance, the publication didn’t mention Sharon Ikeazor, Director-General, PTAD, who is from Anambra, South East; Folorunsho Coker, DG, NTDC; who is from Lagos, South West; Ituah Ighodalo, of the National Council of Privatisation, who is from the South South; Eze Duru Ihioma, Chairman, NPC, who is from Imo, South East, among many others”.
The presidential spokesman further observed that there are at 50 names of the president’s appointees that the article did not mention that are not from the North, while there are some others that were already in place before the administration came in but reconfirmed by the Buhari administration.
Besides, he pointed out that several names of board members/appointees from other parts of the country were deliberately left out.
He listed the missing names to include Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, NCC Chairman, Sunday Dare, NCC Executive Commissioner, Jide Zeitlin, NSIA Chairman, Anthony Ayine, Auditor General of the Federation, Anibor Kragha, COO NNPC, Chiedu Ugbo, MD NDPHC, Uche Orji, CEO NSIA, Osita Okechukwu, DG VON, Yemi Kale, DG NBS and Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary NEITI, among several others.
Adesina pointed out: “Thus, the publication’s inconsistencies and selective reportage are questionable, to say the least. And this is divisive with its many misleading statements that should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“What Nigerians need now are unity and constructive dialogue that would help the nation march forward on the right path not divisive, misleading reportage.”
He contended that it is false for anyone to say President Buhari’s appointments are lopsided, noting that from all records, majority of the president’s appointees across different portfolios are not from the North, as the publication erroneously alleged.
He said, “If the publication did not have ulterior motives, a simple enquiry from official sources in the Presidency would have prevented this unwarranted public disinformation.
“It must be stated clearly that, despite the distractions and biased reportage of this article, President Muhammadu Buhari remains committed to serving all Nigerians, no matter the tribe, ethnicity or region, and he is also determined to ensure that Nigeria remains strong and united.
“ He has, and will continue to keep faith with one Nigeria and has shown this with the administration’s diverse projects in different parts of the country’s geopolitical zones” he stated.