Monday, April 16, 2018

A pastor, a ‘Netanyahu’ and a former editor: Meet Buhari’s latest appointees

A pastor, a ‘Netanyahu’ and a former editor: Meet Buhari’s latest appointees
August 27
19:11 2015

President Muhammadu Buhari has pulled yet another surprise — filling key positions in his government outside of popular speculations.

Against permutations that the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) would be Ogbonnaya Onu or Rotimi Amaechi, Buhari has picked a relatively unknown party man from Adamawa state.

Those who speculated that the chief of staff (CoS) was going to be Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos state, or Hammed Ali, a retired colonel and former military administrator of Kaduna state, have also been shocked with the choice of Abba Kyari, former MD of UBA Plc.

How much do you know about Buhari’s new appointees?


Lawal: Pastor, engineer and politician

BABACHIR LAWAL: Pastor and Politician

Lawal, from Hong LGA in Adamawa state, is an ICT engineer, PRINCE2-certified project management specialist, APMG-certified change management specialist, business analyst and a Christian theologian with specialisation in missions. He graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 1979 with a bachelor in engineering.

He later worked at Delta Steel Company, Aladja, NITEL and Data Sciences Limited. He set up his own ICT and telecommunications consulting firm in 1990. He is also a member of the Nigeria Computer Society, the Nigeria Society of Engineers and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria. He is a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and was in the inauguation committee headed by Timipre Sylva.

In an interview with Daily Sun newspaper in 2014, Lawal said Boko Haram was sponsored to get sympathy for former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said: “Boko Haram was sponsored to initially get sympathy for President Jonathan. Now, it has backfired. Let me tell you this. I am a Christian and pastor. In 2012, the campaign was that we should vote for Jonathan because he is a Christian. In the churches, nobody wanted to hear anything about a Muslim president. They did not vote for Buhari. They voted for Jonathan who is a Christian.”

Kyari: Sociologist, lawyer, banker and editor

ABBA KYARI: Lawyer, banker, sociologist, ex-editor

Initially thought to be a possible choice for the SGF position if Onu was not picked, Kyari, from Borno state, is now saddled with organising the personal staff of the president — one of the most powerful jobs in government. His CV is not only rich but diverse: he has two first degrees — one in sociology and the other in law; he has been a banker as well as a newspaper editor.

Kyari got a BA in sociology from the University of Warwick, England, in 1980. He also holds a BA in law from the University of Cambridge, England, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983. In 1984, he obtained a master’s in law from his alma-mater, the University of Cambridge.

Between 1988 and 1990, he was editor with the New Africa Holdings Limited Kaduna, publishers of Democrat newspapers. He was the Borno state commissioner for forestry and animal resources in 1990 and was secretary to the Board of African International Bank Limited, between 1990 and 1995. He attended the International Institute for Management Development at Lausanne, Switzerland, and participated in the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School, in 1992 and 1994 respectively.

Kyari was executive director, management services, UBA Plc and later the managing director and chief executive of the bank. He was appointed a director of Unilever Nigeria Plc in 2002. He served as honorary member of the presidential advisory council on investment in Nigeria between 2000 and 2005. He is also a director of ExxonMobil Nigeria.

hamid ali

Hameed ‘Netanyahu’ Ali


It is now clear that Buhari wants to do a drastic surgery at the Nigeria Customs Service with the appointment of a retired military officer as the new comptroller-general. Ali, former military administrator of Kaduna state from 1996 to 1998, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology, but was better known in the military for his strict discipline. He once served as provost marshal.

Ali’s secret moniker is “Netanyahu — Mr. No Compromise”, so named after the tough-talking and tough-acting prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Once Ali has set his mind to a task, he is said to be unbendable. His integrity has never been questioned, and the fact that he has been driving the same car for over a decade in a country like Nigeria speaks volumes about his personality.

He had, before his new appointment, been serving as the chief of staff to Buhari and many thought he would carry on with the job, but there were also speculations that he could end up at the EFCC. The one-time secretary-general of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) will now work in an unfamiliar and dirty terrain, but his mission is unmistakably clear: to clear the mess!


Abeshi, centre, at the back: Surprise promotion


Less than a week ago, Kure Martin Abeshi was the deputy comptroller-general of immigration, but fortune has smiled on him in the most unexpected way. First, his boss, David Parradang, was suspended reportedly over some questionable recruitment recently done by the service. Second, Abeshi was asked to fill the position temporarily. Third, the governor of Plateau state, Samuel Lalong, came to the presidential villa to plead for Parradang but failed.

And now, Abeshi has now become the de facto head of the service – all within one week.

The new CG, from Nasarawa state, joined the Nigerian Immigration Service in 1989 as an assistant comptroller. His educational qualifications include a master’s in public administration.


WHATSAPP 08113975334
TWITTER @thecableng
Copyright 2018 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

Social Comments


  1. Princess Devine
    Princess Devine August 28, 01:24

    PMB has advised a lot of thought into choosing this formidable team. Matters not where they come from but at least one of his parliamentary aides should have been female. We’form majority of your voting public and are eminently qualified to serve!

    Reply to this comment
    • ZINNI
      ZINNI August 28, 09:50

      eeh please stop this sentiment about gendarlism,stop corruption,stop sentiments,are the men not qualified Nigeria?

      Reply to this comment
    • 'Ducitti
      'Ducitti August 28, 09:53

      Princess Devine if it doesn’t where they come from why should their gender be a bother to us?

      Reply to this comment
  2. Titus Asuk
    Titus Asuk August 28, 03:23

    Competent appointment though lacking in federal character .

    Reply to this comment
    • Expander
      Expander August 28, 06:55

      Mr. Titus…competency is most important now..he need people that can give results, work selflessly and most especially incorroptable people.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Oton
    Oton August 28, 07:03

    There is a lot of work to be done in the Nigerian state at least to get us back on track. Federal character can please wait.

    Reply to this comment
    • Pam
      Pam August 28, 07:59

      Federal character can still wait as far as I am concern. At least nobody sent the federal character that would have been appointed to be corrupt

      Reply to this comment
  4. jk
    jk August 28, 09:01

    Your comment..we have an abundant of qualified and incorruptible Nigerians in all geopolitical areas of our country, all PMB need do is to use the state apparatus at his disposal to screen would be appointees and be ready to hire and fire anybody who messes up. Nigeria is far behind her piers in development and anything the President can do to restructure Nigeria is OK. Ezennia Chudi from Abuja

    Reply to this comment
  5. Eagle Peace
    Eagle Peace August 28, 09:14

    Federal character brought us where we are today – a damaged country. We need the right people without heavy baggage of corruption and incompetency irrespective of where Nigerians come from. We must move forward as fast as possible in order to catch up with the rest of the world. No corruption please!

    Reply to this comment
  6. N K
    N K August 28, 11:09

    Thank God for the progress so far by PMB, Please rememember to do something on Eko Power or NEPA. People should be billed on their consumption, the crazy billing should be looked into. There are lot of BAD EGGS OF CORRUPTION IN THAT SECTOR. N K Lagos.

    Reply to this comment
  7. K.A.Godswealth
    K.A.Godswealth August 28, 13:11

    The two dragons against economic prosperity in nigeria happens to be electricity (that is why it was named power.The power-house of economy and life)and corruption.How do we stop corruption,that is Universal? A great man some centuries ago revealed the code.This is the missing code of democracy.With the code in place,a great president like Obama would not have given in to same sex marriage.Neither would the billions gathered for the nation by Yakubu Gowon be frittered away by succeeding rulers not leaders.So,after Buhari who comes? I HAVE THE MISSING CODE FOR BUHARI AND OUR NATION,FOR FREE.So we rid the entire universe of Leadders with innate inordinate ills.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Mighty
    Mighty August 28, 14:27

    I care less where these men are coming from,Sokoto,Osun or Kwara.I will only be concerned if they are found at the end of the day to be incompetent and unable to function properly in their different positions. I’m sure a background check must have been carried out to be sure they not people of questionable character.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Surv Bakaro
    Surv Bakaro August 28, 16:40

    All Nigerians must copy and support PMB for us to have the real change we need. We must be willing to do just the right thing by differentiating fantasy and life reality then live by the truth.

    Reply to this comment
  10. ak
    ak August 28, 16:49

    Your [email protected] K, you were very apt. Eko Discos are robbers. They give bills by size and tribe. Bulk of their revenue come from Surulere/Aguda axis. Look at the demographic arrangement and business pattern in these areas and you will understand. The will not dare approach Mushin with those bills talk more of Eko.
    Govt and NERC that just woke up should address the issue. Its killing.
    Pure exploitation and coercive extortion.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Freeborn
    Freeborn August 28, 18:23

    So does it meant that no one from the South is capable?
    He should have looked deep into all the region to fetch out reliable people, not being too selective, making other regions to feel otherwise.
    With federal character, there would be no biased mind. Let’s us all say the truth when needed. I still support your govt though. But carry all the region along. I rest my case.

    Reply to this comment
  12. strong
    strong August 28, 21:24

    Pmb sir, pls don’t choose even my self, neither my blood brother if corrupt practice is traced in my or his, ider her dealings

    Reply to this comment
  13. Sarah
    Sarah August 29, 11:00

    PMB should not concern himself with where. People come from but pick people he can work with to achieve his goal of sanitize our systems, economy and building structures. We are praying that he and his government will succeed IJN Amen.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *






Exchange Rates

April 13, 2018USDGBPEUR
NOTE: The black market rates represent the most prevalent. They could be slightly higher or lower among different sellers.