Nobody saw his appointment coming. Like they say in street parlance, he was not even in the picture. His name didn’t even pop up in the script. As far as the race for who becomes the next Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, was concerned, only one man seemed destined for the job. That man was the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. His name, not George Akume’s, was the only name on the lips of many political observers, touted as the next SGF for the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu led administration.
And he seemed to have had everything falling into place for him. He had enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the President in the closing days of Asiwaju’s time as the presidential candidate of the APC. He was at the forefront of the fight by northern APC governors who insisted, at the time it appeared the goal post was sabout to be shifted, that power must return to the south. He confronted the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, on the matter, and also confronted the former President, Muhammadu Buhari, on the same issue when it appeared they were about to compromise on the party’s stand to let power shift to the South.
Weeks before the election, when the country was suddenly plunged into a situation of naira scarcity occasioned by the mindless naira redesign policy introduced by the federal government and initiated by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, it was Mallam Nasir El-Rufai that led the group of northern governors who took the government to court on the matter, insisting the policy was not well thought out and was doomed to fail but not after making Nigerian masses go through untold hardship. So, when the question of who becomes the next SGF kept coming up, the one name that was often mentioned was Mallam El-Rufai. And it appeared the president and top hierachy of the party had already endorsed the former Governor of Kaduna State. But the president, a man known for doing things differently and blessed with the ability to know how best to utilise the array of brilliant minds that surround him, had other ideas.
As a follow up on the appointments of Senator George Akume as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, fresh facts have emerged on why immediate past Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who was touted as the anointed for the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, lost out.
According to an insider who spoke to City People immediately the news broke, “Tinubu was not going to appoint El-Rufai for such position.”
Continuing, the insider narrated thus: “Mallam El-Rufai was a latter day convert to the Tinubu political family. Before he joined Tinubu, on the instrumentality of former President Muhammadu Buhari, El-Rufai was a thorn on Tinubu’s flesh. He used every opportunity to dress down Tinubu in private and public. Tinubu only accommodated him to win the 2023 presidency. Tinubu is a very smart person. He knows those whose loyalty cannot be trusted whenever things do not go in their favour. El-Rufai is one of them. So, Tinubu cannot make such error. I can tell you that El-Rufai will be kept very far from Tinubu because he is a known betrayer,” the former Reps member disclosed.
On why Tinubu picked former Governor George Akume, the former Reps member said: ”Tinubu can trust George Akume. They have come a long way. It was George Akume who helped Tinubu to introduce then Action Congress of Nigeria, CAN to North Central Nigeria. Since then, their friendship has been untainted. Tinubu wanted Akume to be the National Chairman of APC but it was Buhari who unilaterally brought in Adamu Abdullahi. So, Tinubu has been waiting for such opportunity to put Akume in a position of trust and the time is just now,” he stated.
In the end, it was not such a difficult decision for the president to take. From day one, he had no doubts in his mind who he was going to make his SGF. But being the wise old one that he is, he allowed everyone to make so many wild guesses and let El-Rufai nurse the baseless aqmbition of becoming the next SGF, and when it was time, he simply pulled the rug from under his feet and went for his long time ally, George Akume. Let us reveal to you a bit more about the new SGF, George Akume.
George Akume, 70 years old, was born on May 27, 1953, and is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Akume holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the same institution. He has had a long and distinguished career in Nigerian politics, serving as the Governor of Benue State from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007.
After his tenure as Governor, Akume transitioned to the federal level of politics and served as a senator representing Benue North-West Senatorial District from 2007 to 2019. He also held the position of Senate Minority Leader, where he played a crucial role in coordinating the activities of the minority party and advocating for his constituents.
In 2019, Akume was appointed as the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing intergovernmental affairs and executing special duties assigned by the President.
As the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Akume succeeds Boss Mustapha.
The SGF is a senior government official who plays a vital role in the executive arm of government.
The responsibilities of the SGF include coordinating and supervising the activities of various ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) of the government. They also provide advice and guidance to the President and the Cabinet on policy matters and ensure the implementation of government policies.
The SGF organizes and coordinates the meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the highest decision-making body of the government. They also promote coordination among different ministries and agencies to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure efficient resource utilization.
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