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Audu Ogbeh, Gemade, 6 others jostles SFG job

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– The presidency is shopping for the replacement of the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr Babachir Lawal – This is coming five days after the SGF’s suspension

– Two ministers, two senators, and four others are top on the list of those being considered A report by The Nation indicates that the presidency is already shopping for the replacement of the suspended SGF, Engineer Babachir Lawal barely five days after his suspension.

According to the report, two ministers, two senators, and four others are top on the list of those being considered. The report further stated that the presidency may have foreclosed the return of Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke, to their offices.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, April 19, suspended Lawal and Oke, even as he ordered an investigation into the allegations of violations of law and due process made against them. President Buhari suspended Engineers Lawal as the SGF last week NAIJ.com gathered that the new SGF might assume more roles, as it was during the tenure of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The president is reportedly considering a reduction of the workload of his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, by devolving more schedules to the new SGF. Three geopolitical zones are said to be battling to produce the next SGF. The zones are North-East (seeking the retention of the office), the North-Central and the South-East. But the real battle is said to be between the North-East and the North-Central.

Those being recommended from the North-Central are minister of agriculture, Audu Ogbe (based on performance in office); serving Senators George Akume and Barnabas Gemade. From the North-East are a yet to be named minister, a former ambassador to Botswana, Hajiya Fatima Balla-Abubakar and a former minister of labour and productivity, Senator Joel Ikenya.

President Buhari is said to be considering restructuring the SGF office to be in tandem with that of Obasanjo’s government A source said: “The battle for SGF Lawal’s job is also assuming a religious dimension, with Christians demanding the replacement of the suspended occupant with another Christian. “But the president pays more attention to merit and capacity than religious or ethnic colouration.”

“Buhari might strengthen the office of the SGF in order to reduce the heavy workload on the Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari who is doing a lot now. There are some schedules which ordinarily ought not to be handled by the Chief of Staff but since such matters demand trust, the president saddles him with them.

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