One Dr Sani Umar Jalingo penultimate week penned an opinion published by ‘TGNEWS’ platform in which he tried in vain to cast aspersions on the person of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Gida Mustapha.
Reading through the article, it is clear that Dr Jalingo simply set out to attack and insult President Muhammadu Buhari over some decisions he took in the running of the affairs of the Ministry of Power aimed at the several missteps and embarrassing decisions of the Hon. Minister, Sale Mamman.
Lacking the balls to attack the President, he now pointed his unguarded attacks on the person of the SGF.
To prove this, I will take on all the so called allegations he raised against the SGF and give the true picture.
He began by saying that the SGF is “fixated” with goings-on in the Ministry of Power (whatever that means) and that he goes public with matters that should have been handled privately?
So, what are these matters? He began with the issue of the suspension of a public servant he referred to as “Madam Marilyn” obviously referring to the managing director of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Limited (NBET), who was suspended by Mr Mamman sometime in December last year obviously without the approval of the President.
While Jalingo claims that Ms Marilyn Anunobi was suspended by the Minister “to give way for some investigations in that sector of the ministry”, a news report monitored on NTA news on Christmas eve last year quoted the Minister as saying that he ordered the suspension “ in continuation of the government’s effort to reorganise and sanitise the Federal Ministry of Power and its affiliate agencies”.
President Buhari in January not only directed the reversal of the suspension, but also ordered that the agency be moved to the Ministry of Finance. This much was confirmed by the spokesman of the Minister, Emmanuel Bello, while speaking to Premium Times.
Therefore, the decision to recall the MD and move the agency was solely that of the President in exercise of his full powers.
That is why I said Mr Jalingo, who is obviously doing the bidding of his pay master is going after the president but using what the Hausas call “gajeren katanga”, the SGF.
A pointer to the fact that someone who claims to be supporting a minister is at the same time insulting the person who appointed the minister (the president) can be deduced from Mr Jalingo’s postulation.
Hear him “ We all know that once a government action of this nature has been made public, even if it is in error, government must hold onto it without reversing it; or else the government loses integrity as not knowing what it is doing.”
In other words President Buhari must agree with what the Minister of Power does (even if they are wrong), else he risks losing integrity?
As if to test the patience of the President, the Minister of power again announced the suspension of the Managing Director of TCN, Mohammed Gur.
Shortly after, apparently in order to curb or stop similar incidents of sacking heads of agencies without approval as is the case with the minister of power, the federal government through the office of the SGF, issued a circular on May 19, 2020 stopping ministers from sacking or suspending heads of agencies under their ministry without presidential approval. Of course, the right step to take.
However, Dr Jalingo has this to say regarding that decision “ Given the content of the circular dated 19th May, 2020 emanating from the SGF’s Office there is apparently a disjunction in the administration of the federal government. “
Sources at the Ministry of power tells me that the Hon Minister is running the Ministry like a dictator.
He was posted to the Ministry alongside the Minister of State, Goddy Agba who came into government with a rich background in the public and private sector especially in energy, oil and gas. However, the Minister has true to type refused to allow his colleague function, but has instead been sidelining him in affairs of the Ministry.
Left to the Minister, he will be glad announce the sack of the minister. (Lol).
My parting point to Dr Jalingo is this. Advise the minister to either remain loyal to the president or resign his position before waiting to be sacked. Most importantly, advise him to stay aware from attacking the SGF who is doing a marvelous job and to also allow the Minister of state to offer his badly needed services to his fatherland.
Sani Tukur is a journalist based in Abuja.