ASUNE: Nigeria’s Zombie Appointments

May 7, 2019

When President Buhari assumed the reins of Nigeria’s leadership in 2015, he must have been strictly guided by the principle of  “a government of the people, by the people and for the people”. So representative and people-centric was his administration to be that everyone — young, old and even those six-feet under would get a piece of good governmental action.

At least that’s what I’d like to believe. Or how else would you explain the monumental SNAFU that was the appointment of multiple deceased persons into governmental roles by his administration?

In December 2017, following what ought to have been two years of extensive vetting and interviews —  the President, through the Secretary General of the Federation added yet another floor to the festering tower of Nigeria’s mediocrity, by announcing the appointment of 209 boardmen and 1258 board members into parastatals of the country. Only, these appointments just so happened to have a sprinkling of appointees who were unfortunately, in varying stages of rigour mortis at the time of the announcement.

Among these were:

Chief Donald Okpozo

As a Second Republic lawmaker and Deputy Speaker of the now defunct Bendel State, Okpozo’s must have achieved many things to endear himself to the Presidency. So much so, an official condolence message was issued upon his passing in December in 2016, at the ripe post-retirement age of 81. Now, either the news of his death was too hard to come to terms with, or someone took his spirit living on a little too literally, because he was appointed Chairman of the National Press Council almost a year after his demise.

Chief Donald Ugbaja

Another blowback from the current administration’s misunderstanding of the term “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” — Chief Ugbaja’s passing in December of 2017, having served as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, failed to stop his appointment as a member of the Consumer Protection Council.

Reverend Christopher Utov

Who wasn’t left to rest in peace, as he was appointed a member of the Nigerian Institute of Social Research and Economic Research, despite passing away in March of 2017.

Other dearly departed on the list include: Garba Attahiru, Umar Dange, Magdalene Kumu, Dr Nabbs Imegwu and Comrade Ahmed Bunza.

Making their appointments especially ironic isn’t simply the fact that literal dead people were offered employment before the 18.8% that made up Nigeria’s unemployment rate in 2017 — but because the Buhari administration is so staunchly against the concept of ghost workers.

In 2016, his administration set up The Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance to audit the salaries and wages of government departments, specifically to counteract the problem of Nigeria’s ghoulish labour force. This initiative embarked on the auditing of salaries and wages in various departments, saving the government 500 billion in 2016 alone. So you would think a government that devoted would take extra measures against Nigerian ancestor is receiving afterlife bonuses, correct? We thought so too.

That wasn’t all that was wrong with the list, however. Oh no! What’s one disappointment when several can be unfurled? Also appointed were the controversial Herman Hember,whose position as the representative of the Vandeikya/Konshisha federal constituency of Benue State was nullified by the Supreme Court. Mr Hember also failed to return the salaries and allowances totalling N47,670,086, as mandated by the court’s ruling.

This stand up fellow was appointed a Board Chairman of the Michael Imoudo National Institute for Labour Studies.

The list also had a sprinkling of duplicated names here and there. It also saw the placing of members into the board of the  National Football Federation, appointments which went against the agency’s governing statute. There were also placements into the already privatised National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) in Kogi State.

In explanation for the faux pas, a whole lot of words were used to explain the fact that, no one bothered to give a list that was prepared two years prior, a once-over to make sure little slip-ups like human moves to the afterlife or name duplications, were absent before publicising.

While Nigerians were swift to call out the government on its exemplary sloppiness. Government officials like Itse Sagay failed to understand what all the fuss was about.

“To see that list and begin to quarrel about it seems to me a level of senselessness that I cannot imagine,”

“I regard their attitude as collective stupidity and evidence of idleness of mind.”

He really said so. I don’t know where the bar for his sensibilities lies, but it’s not above ground, I can tell you.

President Buhari shortly after ordered the reviewing of the list. During which time, another undisclosed appointee passed on. These things tend to happen when past-septugenarians are given employment as opposed to much needed elderly TLC.

The list has since been reviewed to much less fanfare, but are we ever going to forget that the Nigerian government saw dead people and tried to give them jobs? I think not.

Boyin Plumptre

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

black woman with afro smiling
September 20, 2021

Hair lice are tiny, wingless insects that live in the hair of humans. They feed on tiny amounts of blood they get from the scalp. They spread easily from comb to comb. It is especially rampant among kids.  It’s not easy to get rid of hair lice but here are a few tips that have […]

Recommended Quizzes

January 2, 2020

Do you have even a single romantic bone in your body? Well, if you’re not sure about just how sweet and thoughtful you can be to someone you love, that’s what this quiz is here to answer. 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are Ready To Marry  Are you ready to marry? Take these quizzes.

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

More from Citizen

open grazing
September 16, 2021

In Nigeria, up to 2,000 people die every year due to deadly clashes between farmers and cattle herders over rights to openly and freely graze, and the clashes made about 62,000 people homeless between 2015 and 2017.

In reaction, southern states in Nigeria are passing anti-open grazing laws. But what do they mean?

Rivers VAT
September 14, 2021

Rivers State generated ₦15 billion from VAT in June 2021, but only got ₦4.7 billion, whereas Kano State generated ₦2.8 billion naira from VAT in June 2021 and got the same ₦2.8 billion naira it made.

This is allyou need to know about the VAT crises:

Nigeria Doctors
September 2, 2021

If you live in Nigeria then you have to be careful because three things can strike at any time — thunder, “ASUU” or doctors. Presently, all three of them are in action: It’s the rainy season in Nigeria so of course thunder is present, lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are already […]

August 27, 2021

On August 14, 2021, unknown armed individuals attacked a convoy of five buses and killed at least 22 travellers along Rukuba Road in Jos North Local Government. According to multiple reports, the victims were returning to Ondo State after attending an Islamic festival in Bauchi state. Reports also say that another 23 people were injured, […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X